Phonsavan is a gateway to the Plain of Jars in northern Laos, a high plateau littered with heavy stone pots thought to be Iron Age funeral urns. Visitors come to explore these UNESCO-protected archeological wonders, which are scattered across grassy plains backed by hills, pine forests and waterfalls. This landscape is inhabited by ethnic communities like the H’mong people, who live in colourful cottages, dress in cowboy hats and like to celebrate their new year with bull fights.
The enigmatic jars sit beside bomb craters and war memorials, the scars of a secretive American war that has left Laos the most bombed country, per capita, in the world. Today, NGOs scour the plains of this bomb-scarred province for unexploded ordnance (UXO) and resourceful locals make a living by crafting war scrap into spoons and vegetable planters. In the dusty, one-street town of Phonsavan, shell casings decorate the walls of Craters Café and you can buy handicrafts made by bomb victims at the UXO Survival Centre.
Due to the prevalence of UXO in Xieng Khouang province, the Plain of Jars is best visited with a local guide, talk to our Laos experts about arranging your Phonsavan tour.
Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like Adele, who's travelled extensively in Laos. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember - the guide who can hone your pétanque skills while playing with the locals, the conservationist who can take you trekking with Asian elephants and the monks who can school you in the craft of Makbeng and Pasaat Pheung making.
Freephone an expert 01306230535