Plain of Jars

Located in the Xiang Khouang Plateau on the highlands of Laos, the Plain of Jars is an impressive collection of stone jars of different sizes and is recognized as one of the unique prehistoric archeological sites in Southeast Asia.

Most of the jars are made of sandstone (more than 80% of them), ranging from 1 to 3 meters, and the heaviest ones weigh around 10 tons. The ancient sites have been considered dated back to the Iron Age with the age of around 1500 to 200 years old. Until now, nobody knows about the exact origin of the Plain of Jars as well as its formation process. The popular beliefs about the mysterious sites’ functions that local people still explain to the others including being an important part of the burial rite, brewing rice wine, and storing rainwater for daily uses during a harsh caravan trip. We may never know for sure why the jars exist, but that is one of the most attractive things about them – stepping inside and forming your own imaginative stories.

Plain of Jars 1

Though the admin of the Plain of Jars has prepared documents to apply for the UNESCO World Heritage Site’s recognition, the region remains unexploded bombs from the Secret War during the 1960s. Therefore, the most popular safe visited sites here are only Site, 1, 2, 3, and the Quarry. Among them, Jar Site 1 is the most fascinating and the easiest to reach. Jar Site 2 consists of 2 parts on either side of the road and the East is the more frequently-visited one with amazing views. The nice hike starting from Site 2 will lead you to Site 3 but remember to carefully follow the red and white markers to be safe. Other reachable sites are Site 16, 23, and 52.

Plain of Jars 2

Nowadays, some organization continues working to remove explosives and register to get more funding. Local people residing in Xiang Khouang have done creative ways to recycle the remnants and change them into items in their life such as spoons, building materials, and house decorations.

The closest town to the Plain of Jar is Phonsavan, the capital of Xiang Khouang. The airport in Phonsavan serves flights connecting Luang Prabang and Vientiane. You will get a breathtaking view of Jar Site 1 when taking off. The other option by road is using a private car starting from these 2 big cities and Vang Vieng.

Plain of Jars 3

Climate, the best time to visit

The Plain of Jars has a subtropical climate due to its high elevation at around 1100 meters above sea level. The average temperature of the region ranges from 15°C to 24°C. The best time to visit the site is during the dry season in the months between November and March.

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