Saturday, July 30, 2011

Plain of Jars 2

NB: these next two posts are a bit out of chronological order. Back in Laos, we traveled east to the Plain of Jars, an area filled with mysterious and giant stone jars, some six feet tall. Like Stonehenge, experts can only guess at the purpose these jars served for their ancient shapers. Also like Stonehenge, the stone for the jars came from hundreds of miles away, across entire mountain ranges, and today we have no clue how such heavy and breakable things were transported so far.

We visited the three largest Jar sites, but there are hundreds. The mystery of the jars was enhanced by the incredible views -- bright green fields that rolled away forever, and intricately fluffy clouds in the distance. (Most of the sites were built on hilltops.)

The rough bus ride here was worth it. The Jars sites were amazing and virtually deserted but for our 5-person group and our guide.

Trekking through a rice paddy to reach the first site:

Break for lunch - noodle soup with egg and herbs

On the way back, we also saw a rusty old Russian tank, half buried by the earth…

…and a whisky (moonshine) “distillery” run by a friendly old woman with no teeth. We all took shots. It tasted sweet and warm from the sun – not as bad as I expected!

Karen and me in front of the largest jar. The clouds in the background only begin to capture the spectacular-ness of that sky.

We found a cool cave that may or may not have functioned as a crematorium back in the Time of the Jars, but made for some good silhouettes.

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