As part of your holidays to Laos, you can explore the Plain of Jars in Xieng Khouang province. This archaeological site features hundreds of ancient stone jars that date back to the Iron Age. The jars are scattered around the upland valleys and the lower foothills of the central plain of the Xiangkhoang Plateau, arranged in clusters ranging in number from one to several hundred.
The Xieng Khouang plains near the town of Phonsava offer ample guesthouses and cafes to fuel up before embarking on Laos tours to the jar sites. Gathering jars into centralized plazas, the ancient people incorporated the landscape into their ritual purposes. Hueang Plain North boasts the highest concentration, with more than 100 jars scattered irregularly. Walk 10 minutes to Hueang Plain South for over 25 well-preserved vessels. Further afield is Phongkhound, distinguishable by its hillside locale. During your Southeast Asia Vietnam tour package, spend a morning at each site to admire jars ranging from 1-3 meters in height, pondering their distributed patterns across the misty valley.
Though first documented in the 1920s, the jars date back much earlier, with theories of origins ranging from 500 BC to the Iron Age. As part of early burial practices or religious ceremonies, villagers transported multi-ton stones and carved hollow vessels with lids. However, the jars stood empty, leaving their intended function for ancestors or deities open to debate during your Laos tours.
Later pottery near the jars indicates settlement from 750-1050 AD by Austroasiatic iron-age people. American bombings in the 1960s uncovered many sites from your Vietnam tour package, while a 1975 plane crash led to wider discovery. Excavations revealed staircases and human remains, suggesting ritualistic practices on holidays to Laos by localized clans. However, uncertainty remains on those who erected the jars and their purpose millennia ago. Visit to contemplate possible uses and meanings of this ancient ceremony site.
From Luang Prabang it’s best to allow 3 days )one day to travel to Phonsavan, one full day to view the jars and a day onward travel. Tiger Trail Travel can help you with planning.