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That Vietnamese b*tch stole my makeup!

Quote from the local shopkeeper who swears she is not racist!

sunny 16 °C
View Great Escape to the East! on Tam-Jo's travel map.

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On the agenda for today? The Plain of Jars. This is actually what we made the 14 hour round trip to Phonsavahn to see. After checking out of the hotel, and buying a very unhealthy breakfast of crisps and cookies, we jumped on our tour bus.

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We visited three jar sites today, as well as an old Russian tank, and a whisky village. Lets start with the jars - huge (and I mean huge!) stone jars dotted all about the place on hilltops. There are two versions of what these jars are and how they came to be. The local version: lots of stone was glued together using sugar cane juice and boiled cow skin, they were hollowed out, and then used to store water or whisky (water in the small ones, whiskey in the big ones, naturally!). The UNESCO version: the stone was quarried from the hills and hollowed out. The sites are cemetaries, with the large jars possibly used for cremations while the smaller jars were then used to contain the ashes and bones of the cremated. So, mother, you asked what they were and there you have it! Being scientists, Tam and I lean towards the UNESCO version despite our deep respect for whisky!

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There are, in fact, many, many jar sites, although we only visited three. But the UXO's that litter this area of Laos prevent tourists from being able to visit many of the other sites. Even at the sites we visited, which were deemed safe, you were advised to stay on clearly marked paths, as outside these paths UXOs had not been cleared - another classic example of health and safety madness ;-)

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After this, we visited a 77 year old lady in a local village who has been making Lao Lao whiskey all of her life. Obviously we were expected to try some, and try some we did. It knocked us out a little, but we survived!!

After the tour we legged it back to our hotel to grab our things and get to the local bus station for what we thought was our 6 hour 4pm bus to Vang Vieng. When we got to the station we discovered that the bus didn't leave until 4.30pm, we weren't actually yet booked onto it (despite having paid for it at the hotel!), and it was actually a 9 hour journey....... hhhhmmmmmm........ maybe the lack of a ticket was a sign not to get on the bus? We took it to be! After a quick confab with the man that owns the hotel we stayed in last night, we grabbed a tuk-tuk back to town, checked back into our hotel and swapped our public bus tickets for two seats on a minivan tomorrow morning! Much more sensible!! Our night was topped off by a hilarious conversation with a local shop owner who had just noticed some of her stock of makeup was missing - very funny, but perhaps you had to be there!

Jo xxx

Posted by Tam-Jo 19:59 Archived in Laos Tagged phonsavanh

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