The Plain of Jars

The Plain of Jars, near Phonsavan in Laos is one of Asia’s most unusual archeological and architectural sites.

The fact that no-one knows the origin of this man-made phenomenon makes the Plain of Jars even more intriguing. A vast area of rolling countryside is littered with hundreds and hundreds of stone jars, the largest being 10 ft high and weighing 6 tons.

More than 90 jar sites have been identified Each site has from one to 400 stone jars. The jars vary in height and diameter between 1 m and 3 m and are all hewn from rock.

Fashioned somewhere between 2,000 and 4,000 years ago, modern day theories as to their original purpose range from wine fermenters to burial jars although ancient burial practice seems the most likely explanation.

Visitors are under no restrictions here – the photo of your friend standing inside a jar and peering over the rim is a favourite – but it is advisable to take a guide as unexploded US bombs from the Indo China wars of the 1960s and 70s are still prevalent in this area.