Sometimes the most underrated countries conceal the greatest archeological wonders. Laos, together with its mystical Plain of Jars, is on the list of those countries. The Plain of Jars has set some serious scientists considering the option of an ancient population, who were giants. Whoever lived in the territory of Laos thousands of years ago, they definitely liked everything big.
The Plain of Jars, geographically known as the Xieng Khouang plain, consists of 3 hilly fields. Scientists and archeologist still struggle to give reasonable explanations about the origin of giant stone jars, which are scattered in those fields. Their origin and, most importantly, their meaning are unknown. Who were those people that liked carving jars out of rocks?
Why Laos is underrated
The country is not only underdeveloped, but it is also quite dangerous for travelers. In an attempt to stop communism from spreading, the USA has launched the Secret War during the 60s and made Laos the most bombed country in the world. 30% of those bombs didn’t explode and remain unnoticed in cities, villages, and vast fields.
Some territories are being cleared of mines today, but you can never know what the soil you step on conceals.
A theory suggests that the jars were created by Indian tribes that moved from one place to another. However, it is really hard to picture a group of people, who would take the trouble of carving into limestone or granite to leave that work behind. Too many efforts for no reason.
A more exciting legend tells about a mythical giant that lived nearby. The locals were forced to collect rice and drinks in these jars, so that the giant could enjoy them for breakfast or lunch.
As no scientific theory has been proven, we will regard these suppositions as legends. Numerous Lao and Japanese archeologists insist that the fields are actually a burial place. Ceramics, human remains and other objects were found nearby. Plus, the scientists also found images of human figures carved inside the jars. However, no organic material was found in them, which fails to prove the mentioned theory.
UNESCO in the Plain of Jars
UNESCO specialists have counted 3000 jars, and there are definitely more around, which vary in size and position. The average jar size equals to 3 meters; this is higher than the tallest person in the world.
The Laotian government has suggested to include the Plain into the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Once they succeed, the Plain of jars will stop being a forgotten and mystical field. There will be as many curious travelers as there are jars.
In fact, there is an admission fee, but you can test your bargaining skills and ask for a lower price. The roads leading to the site are not in good condition, but backpack travelers can easily get there by hiking. Mystery lovers should also give it a chance. You may find an artefact that will reveal the true story behind the legends; just keep looking under your feet.