The Plain of Jars

The Plain of Jars, Phonsavan: Hours, Address, The Plain of Jars Reviews: 4.5/5

The Plain of Jars
Historic Sites • Points of Interest & Landmarks
07:00 - 20:00
07:00 - 20:00
07:00 - 20:00
07:00 - 20:00
07:00 - 20:00
07:00 - 20:00
07:00 - 20:15
07:00 - 20:00
Sousath Phetrasy is the man who helped open the plain of jars to tourist and the trip run by his son, Mr. Nouds Phetrasy is the most informative in town. Extremely knowledgeable about the region, He run daily tours to the plain of jars sites, include site 1, site 2, site 3, site 8, site 12, site 21, site 23, site 25, site 28, site 42, site 52, and he also organize trek to jungle, villages for Camping, for the war obsessives He run trip to Vieng Xai Phathed Lao leader cave and war site as: Lima site 36, LS 85, and LS 20 A Long Tieng the clandestine in the Saisomboun Jungle created by the C.I.A during the secret war 1965.
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637 reviews
Very good

Fran R
Zurich, Switzerland372 contributions
this is an exceptional and mystic place
Jan 2020
make sure you visit very early in the morning to capture the special atmosphere
the walk around is fabulous

also visit the part 2 ! it is a one hour walk there. it is worthwhile
Written 10 August 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Vientiane, Laos275 contributions
Very interesting
Jun 2020
We really enjoyed this place. It was generally easy to access and it is quite amazing. We spent quite some time wandering around. Highly recommended.
Written 30 June 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Mumbai, India231 contributions
mysterious plain of Jars
Dec 2019

Very often tourist seeks for comfortable destination and beaten path. Thailand and Vietnam have lots of them but not LAOS.
When there is mysterious history, we ought to visit even it requires one a day local bus through zigzag mountains and 9-10 hours journey. It’s the ‘Strange Plain of Jars‘ (says BBC travel) and while it is very remote, it’s well worth the journey if you have the time.

We decided to visit phonsavan city (another sleepy town- laos have plenty of them) for 'Plain of Jars' simply meaning 100s of acres of hills and stone Jars on them, so what's special?

As archaeologists believed between 2000 and 3000 years ago, in what is now Central Laos, an ancient civilization (?) decided to build thousands of jars. The obvious question is why, and it’s one that has never had a definite answer even till date. There are a few theories floating around for why the Plain of Jars came into existence.

Some researchers have theorized that the jars may have once served as funerals urns or food storage. It’s well known ancient practice in this part of the world including Indo-China belt.

As local Laotian legend (even we vouch for local tales) would have it, the jars were created by Khun Cheung, an ancient king of giants who lived in the highlands. It is said that Cheung, after fighting a long and victorious battle, created the jars in order to brew huge amounts of celebratory lao lao rice wine.

Whatever is truth, its gigantic size even to 3 tones weight it's hard to believe how they came here, who brought and what are purpose, how they survive for such long, and all mystery?

It’s said that Vietnamese army got some supplies from Laos; so world’s most heavily bombed country is still facing problems due to same. In the countryside around Phonsavan & even many parts of Laos there are lots of bombs in the ground. There are mine clearance teams working in Laos but detecting and removing the bombs is painfully slow, dangerous and difficult task. This is main reason why so few of the jar sites are not open and can not be visited & it yet to receive most deserving ‘UNESCO World Heritage Site’ Tag.

How to Reach:
We got local bus from Luang prabang to Phonsavan from southern bus station. Charges 95k kip pp and after 9 hrs it drops to northern bus station at PHONSAVAN. Tuktuk charge 10k kip to drop at City centre.

Overnight bus from LP to Hanoi directly stops at City centre opposite Vietnam food center and getting hostel or rooms at night should not be problem.

There are not many hostel or dorms bed we found but guest house are quite affordable. At 50k we stayed at Dokkum Guest House with big bed, not so hot water and strong WIFI.

What to see:
There are three sites that are accessible from Phonsavan by foot, bike, tuk-tuk or tour. Best is to rent a motorbike and use maps or join a tour.

We decided to rent bike as best mode to see all sites. Automatic bike cost 100k kip which is double the price we paid anywhere in laos. Many shops seems monopolies the prices, still worth than taking any tour or Tuktuk.

Jar sites 1, 2 & 3 are mostly visited (although there are over 40 Jar Sites in total) 1 is biggest and busiest. We decided to visit 3-2 first then 1 so crowd can be avoided. Do checkout for biggest jar in site 3, jar with lid on site 2 and cave, bomb crater at site 1. 10k kip is entry for 3 & 2 as 1 is charging 15k.

Jar Site 1:
It’s fairly large area where you need to walk around a bit to see it all. It's definitely the most touristic one. They have lots of jars right up the second hill. After you've passed the trail to the cave, having natural limestone formation with an opening to chimneys for a crematorium. This cave shaped formation is also place of worship for few. Information centre at entry also provides some vital information about Jars & Bombing history of Laos. Some big size Bomb Craters are also one of attractions of site.

Jar Site 2:
This has different sites; one can almost drive all the way up to this site with a motorbike. The first site is on the left of the road, there are stairs leading up to the site. Less tourist gives bit of spooky feeling. Lots of trees around & one of biggest jars found here. This site also ends in forest but well fenced. We found few locals doing photo-ops for family gatherings.

The second site is on the right side of the road, again with stairs leading up to it. This one is more out in the open and you have some grand views over the hills around you. Here you can see the stone disk with the sculptured frog in the middle (Most unique one).

Jar Site 3:
This requires a serene walk through beautiful agricultural land & rice terraces before you reach the jars. Some says that in some of the jars there are hidden buddha statues, but we haven’t found any. One jar have unique opening so one can enter at jar to see magnum size.

Search for TimeTravelwithTM on blogspot for detailed blogs.
Not many places on earth can boasts having such mystery, even visiting all such places is not possible so it’s sure worth putting time and efforts going off beaten path.
Written 25 May 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Paris139 contributions
Feb 2020
Take your time and combine a visit with other sites. For an excellent guide look up Tey Lassada on Google or TA.
Written 13 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Rheanna and Laurence
4 contributions
Sousath Travel
Feb 2020 • Couples
We had such a great time with our tour guide Mr Nouds. We did the first tour option which included the 3 sites, the spoon village and an old tank. We would highly recommend this company! What the guide didn’t tell us until we were having lunch was that this company were the first to ever bring tourists to the jars and the spoon village and it was his dad who set it up. This was no surprise at all as going round the jars he knew so much interesting information including about Russian occupation and the CIA. It was fascinating and we seamed to be getting a lot more than the other groups at the same site where. We soon found out that his grandad was in the army and had this amazing story which he shared with us.

It was really unforgettable and Mr Nouds is the reason why. There’s really no point just going around the jars without a great guides insights, own experience and information to bring it to life. The spoon village was also fantastic and we got to sit and drink rice wine with one of the families while we are chatted and we watched them make spoons. We really felt so welcomed and again it was the tour guides relationships with villagers that made this happen. We paid 250000 each because there was no one else going that day. The price goes down if you get more people but despite this we are so glad we went with this company and found the others to be more expensive anyway when asking around.

Thanks so much for an inspiring day! Highly recommend!
Written 29 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

James C
5 contributions
Site 1, 2 & 3
Feb 2020 • Solo
All fascinating and well worth a visit. Hire a motorbike and do it independently then have dinner at Nisha Indian restaurant on the main strip, fantastic food and highly recommended
Written 21 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Essex UK518 contributions
Interesting ancient place
Nov 2019
We visited here as part of our trip, with the only downside was the length of time it took to get there (over 6 hours), the mountain scenery was amazing. It is an amazing place to visit and reminded us a bit of Stonehenge in the UK , same time period. We learned a great deal from our guide and saw an amazing sunset.
Written 18 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Los Angeles, CA9 contributions
Excellent half day with Mr. Souk
Feb 2020
I had an excellent half day touring the Plain of Jars with Mr. Souk ( / +85620 28548454). He even picked me up at the airport and had me dropped off at the airport—something that I was not expecting at all. Mr. Souk picked me up promptly at 8:30 a.m., and we first went to Site 1. He spent a significant amount of time talking to me about unexploded ordnances in Laos and the theories behind the jars. We then visited a family at Spoon Village, which was a great pit stop to pick up some small souvenirs to bring home. We then visited Site 3 and had lunch at a restaurant near the site. We finally visited Site 2 and then he took me back to the hotel. He charged me 700,000 kip, which is a lot for one person but would be cheaper if split among several people. He speaks excellent English and kept me entertained with questions and conversation about my background and about his own. I highly recommend him for tours of the Plain of Jars.
Written 18 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Hong Kong, China57 contributions
Quiet tranquil place with panoramic views of Phonsavan
Feb 2020 • Solo
If you are travelling solo to Plain of Jars, best is to go to main street to negotiate a tuk tuk to bring you to site one. It takes about 25 minutes to the ticket office where there is an exhibition hall with a decent toilet and free drop off to the site 1 entrance. Best to go early in the morning to avoid afternoon heat, bring your lunch and plenty of water. Don't miss the cave and its top to have a panoramic views of Phonsavan. It is picturesque and sacred.
Written 17 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ottawa, Canada1,185 contributions
Recomend Site # 3
Feb 2020
We visited all 3 sites and found site 3 the most authentic,with site 1beingthe most basic and busiest- Dismaying to see tourists climbing all over the jars, including local entitiled Laos showing disrespect for a part of their heritage. Definitly worth the visit
Written 15 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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The Plain of Jars is open:
  • Sun - Fri 07:00 - 20:00
  • Sat - Sat 07:00 - 20:15
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