What do you put in your jars?

Trip Start Oct 30, 2012
Trip End May 30, 2013

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Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  ,
Thursday, December 13, 2012

If you're me, it's probably preserves, or coffee beans, or buttons. If you're the US, it seems you like to put bombs in them. If you're Lao...well there's still some mystery surrounding the huge solid stone stars that litter the landscape here. Some say they're funerary jars. But I like the story that says they were put there by a race of giants to brew Lao-Lao for a big celebration.

We hummed and hawed about coming out here. On one hand, these are the archaeological wonders of Laos. On the other, it's a long windy bus trip to a cold place to see some hollowed out stones in a field.

It's not just a few though. Jar site 1 was over 255 hectares and had over 300 jars in it alone. To date they have found some 100 sites with each containing 1-400 jars. It could be a UNESCO
heritage site, but it's covered in bombs! Jar sites 1, 2, and 3 are open to tourists and have been partially cleared along some marked paths.

But I'm very glad that I've seen it. The first view of a field littered with stone jars was quite amazing. Then getting close and seeing their immense size was another.

We also sent on a hike to a waterfall. When I saw this on the itinerary, I almost didn't want to book. Like, yeah, a waterfall. Tried that. Also, most tours are a drive-up-take-a-photo-drive-off. But to get to Tad Ka (secret waterfall) we drove down this horrendous little road (we actually had to get out and help push it out of a muddy rut and walk up the hill). We then took a long forest walk down to the base of the waterfall. The longer we walked, the more we all worried about the walk back up! Reaching the base was one of the most beautiful waterfalls I've seen yet! But that wasn't the end. We must have spent the next hour or hour and a half hiking up – the waterfall that is! We'd go off ot the side for a bit and then criss cross the waterfall at various tiers. I think a waterfall becomes much more beautiful when you're standing in it's midst with water receding away from you below and pounding down upon you from above.

So far this is my highlight of Laos. Everywhere we've been has been lovely and the people are so relaxed, but this place has all that as well as being full of history and artifacts.

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