Continuing on my tour of Laos, the girls and I found ourselves in Phonsavan, a city pretty close to the Vietnamese border. My purpose for going here was to see the Plain of Jars, these mysterious, massive ‘jars’ that have been built.
I felt a bit ignorant to not know about Laos’ ‘secret war.’ Because of its strategic location next to Vietnam, the Americans decided to bomb the heck out of this place. One of the reasons why bombs were dropped here include the Americans didn’t want to take back bombs with them to Thailand where they were based. It made me feel disgusted to not know this, and even worse that I hold an American passport.
The girls and I were taken to a ‘bomb village’ where they know it’s safe. They’ve adapted to life using bomb casings as planters, stoves and other things. It’s sad to know that Laos is still not cleared of these UXO (unexploded ordinances). Normal people who are going about their day clearing the land may accidentally hit something, and then that’s it.
Moving onto the mysterious part of Phonsavan, the Plain of Jars sits on the Xiangkhoang Plateau. The origins are unknown, but many have guessed it to be a burial site, giant containers to hold rice wine, or to collect monsoon rain water.
Today, the containers have rain water, rubbish that tourists have mistaken as rubbish bins, and an occasional dead frog.
Phonsavan was definitely a detour in Laos, but worth it if you have the time.