Claes Johansson Asia 2010 travel blog

The Maly Hotel – My home in Phonosavan.

The entrance to the Craters Restaurant

An impressing arms collection in the Maly Hotel’s dining room.

More weapons and ammunition from Maly’s collection.

A bomb now serving as a fence post. Rather common in Laos.

Statistics over what was found here, before the tourists were allowed to...

On my way to the jars of site 1.

The remaining of a Vietnamese shooting trenches.

The biggest jar with a weight about 6 tons.

More jars of the plains.

A bomb crater.

More jars of the plains.

The brown and white bricks along the road show where it is...

Many jars.

Between the white dots is it safe to go, outside not so...

Remaining of a Vietnamese tank.

10 Mars.

Time for me to leave Vang Vieng and continue my trip to Phonosavan. It became a 230 kilometres trip by minibus. The trip took 6 hrs and the road was mostly uphill, winding and several serpentines. We have to climb over a couple mountain ridges which reached 1200 meters over see level. I saw some stunning sceneries up there in the mountains, but since I was sitting in the middle in a minibus, I could not take any photos. When I finally arrived to Phonosavan in the afternoon, was the temperature freezing 10°C. So first thing I have to do after that I checked in at the Maly Hotel, was to go to the market and buy a long armed shirt. Back at the Maly Hotel, I booked a day tour to the Plain of the jars. After all that was the reason why I decided to come here. Also that the Maly Hotel had wireless Internet pleased me very much. For the first time since I arrived to Laos, I have an Internet connection, a weak one but better than nothing. Things start to happen in Bangkok, so I better try to be informed. But the information that I received here did not give me many clues.

11 Mars.

This started with a study on recovered unexploded bombs or grenades in Maly Hotel’s dining room. They have an impressive collection of weapons and ammunitions.

Phonosavan is maybe the most romantic and beautiful province capital in Laos. But that is what happened to a town, where no house or buildings are older than 35-40 years old. Despite that Laos was never officially part of the Vietnam War. So took some of the fiercest fighting’s place here. My book says that more bombs were falling over Laos than North Vietnam. So today’s trip to see the jars on the Phonosavan plain became much more than a ordinary sightseeing and daytrip. It also became a history lesson of what really happened here fore some 40-50 years ago. For the first I should explain what a jar is. A jar is a solid stone carved out so it locks like a barrel. In this province there are thousands of them and no one knows for sure why and the purpose with them. It is little bit like the Stonehenge in England. It stands there, but no one knows for sure why, same here.

When I visited Sites 1, 2 and 3 I was shown that I should follow the marks in the ground, because of war debrief and UXO:s (Unexploded Objects). Along the trail I could see brown and white bricks and if I walked between the white marks, I was safe. On the question, what happened if I go outside, the answer was that is was OK, I could walk outside but I should absolutely not dig in the ground. So inside I felt a little bit of thrill. I would very much explore the area, but also coming back in one piece. Luckily for me was that the temperature reach 22-25 degrees, so my newly bought long armed shirt, could I leave in the minibus.

In the evening I took my computer down to reception at Maly Hotel and followed what happening in Bangkok.

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