Having only spent one full day in Phonsavanh to see the Plain of Jars, this is a relatively short post.
As is becoming usual it was a early start to wait for the tuk tuk pick up to take me to the bus station. Fair play to the driver to managed to squeeze 11 people on to his seven person tuk tuk, it was certainly snug. Once dropped off at the bus station a few kilometers away, we dumped our bags on the minivan and got a bit confused about not being given any tickets, our tuk tuk driver just sort of shrugged and drove off. Since I'd paid at the hostel I didn't want to have to pay again. Anyway it all worked out I just told the ticket guy the name of the hostel and that seemed to cover it.
It took around six to seven hours to get to Phonsavanh as the driver was great and only stopped the bare minimum of times. But at the lunch stop we found an interesting thing on sale...severed bears feet in a clear liquid. The jar it was in had a tap on it so I assumed it was some sort of drink, either way it was disgusting but somehow very fascinating to look at. We were met at the bus station by someone from Nice Guesthouse and driven to it, which seemed a bit pointless since you could see it from bus station. The guesthouse and room seemed nice and once checked in went to explore the town for food. Went to a proper locals place for a huge portion of noodles before crashing in front of the tv for the evening.
The following morning went to a little restaurant for breakfast which for it's entrance has a whole host of bomb shells that had been dropped in the area by the Americans during the secret war. Then it was time to grab a scooter and head the 35km out of town to the furthest plain of jars site (3). The road wasn't exactly the smoothest and so dusty but the ride to the site was good fun and the scenery was great. After paying the 10,000 kip entrance fee you have to walk across some paddy fields to the small site 3 where a few dozen of the stone jars are scattered.
Following this, we rose around the back lanes to see a bit of the pretty countryside before picking up the main road to head to the larger site, site 1. Again plenty of large stone jars to have a nosy around. Whilst it's interesting that they are there and that very little is known about there original purpose, I'm not sure it was massively worth going out the way for. But it's ticked off the list. But was interesting to see the number of bomb craters in this area though. Certainly a side of the war I didn't know much about and how it's devastated and continues to devastate such a nice part of the country.
The rest of the day was spent trying to find a restaurant that was both open and serving food, harder than you would think on a road with mainly restaurants! I visited the informative Mines Advisory Group shop which tells you about the number of bombs dropped in the secret war by the Americans and scarily how they are still killing people today. A bomb was dropped every 8 minutes over 9 years between 1964 and 1973 amounting to two million tons! They are still trying to clear the unexploded bombs to prevent the continuing injuries and deaths but it still might take 100 years to make the country safe.
The plain of jars ticked off it was time to head off and go check out Vang Vieng.