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 huge stone jars at the UNESCO nominated heritage site, the 'Plain of Jars'
  • Wander through the fascinating ancient temples of Muang Khoune
  • Visit an ethnic minority village at Phonesavanh
  • Amble through the Phonesavanh market

tour details

Scattered over hundreds of square kilometres, the Plain of Jars is as unique as it is fascinating.

From your hotel, transfer to the Vientiane Wattay Airport and board a Lao Airlines flight to Xieng Khouang. The northern province of Xieng Khouang was heavily bombed during the Vietnam War and the bomb craters that pockmark the landscape can be seen from the aeroplane as it descends over the region.
After landing at the airport, meet up and transfer to Phonesavanh, the new capital city of the Xieng Khouang Province and check into the hotel. The original capital of this province, Xieng Khouang, was almost totally destroyed, so the capital was moved to Phonesavanh.
The mysterious Plain of Jars is near Phonesavanh and will soon be listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The jars weigh between 600 kilogrammes and one ton but the heaviest 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.

The evening will end with dinner and accommodation at the hotel.
Eat breakfast at the hotel and then drive to the Plain of Jars. Site 1 features 250 jars weighing from 600 kilogrammes to one ton and Site 2 is home to 90 jars. A large area extending around Phonesavanh contains several hundred huge jars of unknown origin that are scattered around in more than one dozen different groupings. Several theories have been proposed as to the functions of the jars including burial urns, wine fermenters and rice storage, but there is no evidence confirming one theory over another. In the 1930s, French archaeologists found ashes, stone axes, bronze ornaments and ceramics, which may indicate that there were offerings to the dead.
Once the Plain of Jars is listed by UNESCO and cleared from any remaining UXOs, further archaeological investigation may bring about clues to the unanswered questions regarding the most enigmatic site in Laos. After visiting the Plain of Jars, continue to the ancient temples of Muang Khoune. Afterward, return to Phonesavanh for lunch and then visit several ethnic minority villages such as the Hmong, Phuan, Thai Neua, Thai Dam or Thai Lu.

Eat dinner at the hotel and then retire for the evening.
Eat breakfast at the hotel and then visit the Phonesavanh Market where ethnic minorities from the surrounding villages gather every morning. Drive around Phonesavanh Township and take in the many views of the town and surrounding landscape. Visit the Lao Sericulture Company at their silk farm and training centre featuring processes for mulberries, silk and tea.
The Xiang Khouang Province in the hills of northern Laos has a special climate and soil condition that enables the cultivation of the finest red and green mulberry teas. Handpicked and grown without chemicals, mulberry 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 used to create the beautiful traditional costumes of the Lao people.
The mulberry leaves are also used by the Laotians for their traditional health-giving properties, as they contain many vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to one’s 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 that has established a method for Lao people to generate an income in a socially and environmentally responsible manner, these ancient traditions are being preserved and developed for an international market. After visiting the Lao Sericulture Company, enjoy lunch at local restaurant and then transfer to the airport to board a Lao Airlines flight from Xieng Khouang (Phonesavanh) to Vientiane.

After arriving at the Vientiane Wattay Airport, transfer to the 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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