Plain of Jars

Trip Start Nov 05, 2007
Trip End Jun 22, 2008

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Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  ,
Monday, December 10, 2007

We drove southeast (within the country, north of the capital) to the town of Phonsavan, which is the closest to the "Plain of Jars".  The pictures include those of the jars themselves and our travels on the countryside stopping at local villages.  

Archaeologists believe that the jars were used 1,500-2,000 years ago, by an ancient Mon-Khmer race whose culture is now totally unknown. Most of the excavated material has been dated to around 500 BC-800 AD. Anthropologists and archeologists have theorized that the jars may have been used as funeral urns or perhaps storage for food.

Lao stories and legends claim that there was a race of giants who once inhabited the area. Local legend tells of an ancient king called Khun Cheung, who fought a long, victorious battle against his enemy. He supposedly created the jars to brew and store huge amounts of lao lao rice wine to celebrate his victory.
It is a quiet area with most of the tourist being Thai, whose language is very close to Lao and make it very easy for them to travel.
In the pictures we stopped and helped a local family make "sticky rice noodles," first they pick the rice, cook it and then hit it with those large sticks until it makes a paste.  Then you can see Darcy helping them make small flat pieces, which they will then roll into noodles for family and friends to eat. It was hard work just for a noodle!  They laughed at us as we helped them (if you call it they).
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