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  • Alex Gillam

Laos' Plain of Jars

An enigmatic, archaeological wonder in the Lao Highlands, the Plain of Jars is an unusual collection of more than 3,000 massive, stone jars, ranging anywhere from 3 to 10 feet tall & weighing up 14 tons each. Dated back to the Iron Age, the exact purpose of these jars is unknown: according to locals, the jars were created by Khun Cheung, King of the Giants, as a method of storing Lao rice wine; researchers, on the other hand, are split – some argue that they were used to collect monsoon rainwater as part of a larger trade route, while others claim that they were used as elaborate burial urns.

Whatever the reason, progress around solving the mystery is hindered by the fact that the plains are contaminated with thousands of tons of un-exploded land mines & bombs, making it impossible to explore anything but the few select zones that have been cleared for visitors. Only time will tell what the jars’ true purpose was, but in the meantime you can take in the other-worldly sight of the jars scattered amidst limestone caves and rice fields.

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