In the northeast of Laos, lying across a flat high plateau is the province of Xieng-Khouang, most commonly known for the intriguing ‘Plain of Jars’. From the early 19th century until 1975, central Xieng-Khouang and the plain of jars was a recurring battle zone. It’s estimated that more bombs where dropped on Laos between 1964 and 1973, than in the Second World War. As a result, visitors are advised to stick close to guided trails as unexploded ordinance still litter the plain.
Xieng Khouang is home to the Plain of Jars, the prehistoric stone megaliths which attract thousands of tourists to the province each year. The Lao government is currently finalising an application for the World Heritage Committee to consider listing the Plain of Jars as a World Heritage Monument. The area is of significant archaeological importance on account also of the standing stones in nearby Huaphan province.
The total number of hotels, guesthouses, resorts, restaurants and entertainment establishments in the province grew from 98 in 2009 to 140 in 2010.
Phonsavan, the new provincial capital, is located in Paek district and caters to increasing numbers of national and international tourists, eager to experience Xieng Khouang’s natural, historical and archaeological attractions. The new airport in Phonsavan is served by regular flights from Vientiane by Lao Airlines.
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