Monday Moment: Plain Of Jars, Laos

14.January 2013

Laos, Monday Moment

Plain of Jars, Laos

We are officially in the middle of nowhere. Central Laos is not overly populated and we are and hour and half outside of the nearest town of Phonsavon. Lumbering along the dirt roads, through pine forests and small villages, the only regular sound is the drone of the scooter under us.

It is hot. Really hot. My butt is burning from a combination of the heat of the engine under it and the incessant vibration caused by the uneven road surface. We break often to make it bearable.

But I love it. I love being way off the beaten track; love not knowing what we’ll find while using a faded, oft-photocopied, hand drawn, map to navigate. I trust we won’t get really lost. We pass by people often enough and I know that even without a shared language the local people would easily be able to point us in the direction of civilization.

We’re here to seek out one of the many Plain Of Jars sites in the area. Coming up on them is surreal; massive jars carved from stone dot the landscape. There is nothing else here. No other ruins indicating a long lost civilization or any hints as to what they might have been used for. They just lay, scattered in no discernable pattern, in the middle of nowhere.

Oddly beautiful.

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5 Responses to “Monday Moment: Plain Of Jars, Laos”

  1. Leigh Says:

    What an interesting destination though the getting there sounds quite horrendous.
    Leigh recently posted..Ranch Resorts: A Visit to Red Reflet Ranch in Wyoming

  2. Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) Says:

    Getting off the beaten track is definitely both exhilarating and terrifying! This tiny part of my brain is always certain that something HORRIBLE will happen to us, though I’m never quite sure what that it is. It’s just this amorphous anxiety wrapped up in “being lost” that somehow seems tragic. I always try to remember this awesome quote I read that said, “You can’t be lost if you have nowhere to be.”

    The Plain of Jars looks so surreal and bizarre! I hope we get to see it when we hit Laos!

  3. Michael Hodson Says:

    I need to get back to Laos and explore more. This, plus a bunch of other stuff, is on my list to do for the first time, next time back.
    Michael Hodson recently posted..Chilling in Camden

  4. Arti Says:

    Stunning capture! Almost looks like a war zone to me! Nothing for miles but wilderness.
    Arti recently posted..A Slice of Ancient Japan: Naramachi

    • Gillian Says:

      Interestingly Arti, it is/was a war zone. Laos was heavily bombed during the ‘Secret War’ which coincided with the Vietnam war. The entire area is pockmarked with bomb craters and there are many signs warning to stay on marked paths as there are unexploded artifacts outside the marked area. It was very kind of eerie to be there.
      Gillian recently posted..The Ultimate Train Challenge: Are You Up For It?