Laos

3-Day Plain of Jars Discovery

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Tour type

Tour Level: High level

Tour Comfort: Superior

Tour Period: 3 Days

tour highlights

  • Explore the mysterious UNESCO Plain of Jars
  • Learn about the importance of mulberries to Laos, for fruit, silk and tea
  • Visit an ethnic minority village at Phonesavanh
  • Amble through the Phonesavanh market
  • Discover the ancient temples of Muang Khoune

tour details

This tour is specifically designed to allow you to discover the mysterious Plain of Jars, to learn more about some of the ethnic minorities in Laos and to understand the importance that mulberries have in Lao culture.

You will be picked up at your hotel and transfer to Vientiane Wattay airport for a Lao Airlines flight to Xieng Khouang. You will be met upon arrival at the airport and transfer to Phonesavanh, the new capital city of the Xieng Khouang province to check in at your hotel. The northern province of Xieng Khouang was heavily bombed during the Vietnam War and, as soon as the plane begins to descend, you can notice how much of the province is still pockmarked with bomb craters. The original capital, Xieng Khouang, was almost totally destroyed, so the capital was moved to Phonesavanh.
Near Phonesavanh is the mysterious Plain of Jars, which is soon to be listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. These megalithic jars weigh mostly from 600 kg to one ton but the biggest one weighs as much as six tons. The jars have been fashioned from solid stone, most from a tertiary conglomerate known as molasses, akin to sandstone, and a few from granite.

Dinner and accommodation at the hotel.
After breakfast at the hotel we drive to, and visit the Plain of Jars (site 1 which features 250 jars weighing from 600 kg to one ton and site 2 with 90 jars), a large area extending around Phonesavanh where several hundred huge jars of unknown origin are scattered about in over a dozen groupings. Several theories have been advanced as to the functions of the jars (burial urns, wine fermenters, rice storage), but there is no evidence confirming one theory over the other. However, in the 1930s, French archaeologists found ashes, stone axes, bronze ornaments and ceramics, which may have been offerings to the dead. When the Plain of Jars is listed by UNESCO and cleared of remaining Unexploded Ordnances, further archaeological investigation may bring a clue to all the unanswered questions regarding the most enigmatic site in Laos.
After finishing at the site we continue to Muang Khoune, the former capital of Xieng Khouang Province, which was destroyed by heavy bombings, and visit its ancient temples.
Return to Phonesavanh for lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch there is the opportunity to visit some ethnic minorities' villages (either Hmong, Phuan, Thai Neua, Thai Dam or Thai Lu) and a chance to observe and understand more about the daily life and traditions of these fascinating peoples’.

Dinner and accommodation at the hotel.
Following breakfast at the hotel visit the vibrant Phonesavanh market where the ethnic minorities from the surrounding villages gather every morning. Drive around Phonesavanh Township and take in the many views of the town and its surroundings. Visit the Lao Sericulture Company, at their silk farm and training centre and learn about, mulberries, silk and tea. In the fertile soil of Xiang Khouang province in the hills of northern Laos, the climate and soil condition enable the cultivation of the finest red and green mulberry teas. Handpicked and grown without chemicals, Mulberries Herbal Teas are naturally caffeine free with a refreshing and mild flavour and a pleasant roasted aroma.
For hundreds of years the mulberry tree has fed the silkworms that spin silk for the beautiful traditional costumes of the Lao people. The leaves are also used by the Laotians for its traditional health-giving properties as the mulberry leaves contain many vitamins & minerals beneficial to health. Those who drink the tea have found it to be helpful in reducing their levels of blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as diminishing arthritic pain. Through 'Lao Sericulture', a not-for-profit company creating income-generation for Lao people in a socially and environmentally responsible manner, these ancient traditions are being preserved and developed for an international market. After the tour lunch is at a local restaurant.
After lunch transfer to the airport for Lao Airlines flight from Xieng Khouang (Phonesavanh) to Vientiane. You will be met upon arrival at Vientiane Wattay airport and transfer to your hotel.

includes

  • Accommodation in shared double/twin room with air conditioning (AC) and private bathroom
  • Meals as stated in the programme B= Breakfast, L= Lunch & D= Dinner
  • Transfers and tours with English-speaking guides in private air conditioned vehicles
  • All entrance fees as mentioned in the programme
  • Mineral water available in the vehicles

excludes

  • Domestic airfare (quoted separately, if requested)
  • International airfare to / from Laos (quoted separately, if requested)
  • Optional tours
  • Surcharges for other language guides
  • Surcharges for Lao Pimai (New Year)
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Personal expenditures, such as drinks, souvenirs, laundry, camera fees, communications, postage, gratuities, etc.
  • Meals and services other than mentioned in the programme
  • Drinks with meals
  • Compulsory gala dinners during festive seasons and peak season surcharges which will be advised at the time of booking or when available
  • Early check-in and late check-out at hotels, if not mentioned in the programme

notes

Upon request, a licensed French, German, Spanish or other language-speaking guide can accompany participants for the whole duration of the trip at an additional cost.

Tour code: XKH3

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