Jody's Adventures

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Plain of Jars

Well this one picture shows the most rock climbing I've done in a month. Not climbing much, but being in Laos is really great. There is so little development and things move so slowly. The Plain of Jars is actually 3 areas filleds with enormous hand carved stone jars. The one I am perched on weighs an estimated 6 tons. The are 2 theories about the jars. The archeaologists say they were used to burn the deceased, whose remains were then transferred into smaller jars that have been found buried around the base of the large jars. The locals prefer to beleive that they are vessels for brewing the very popular native rice whisky Lao Lao. I prefer the second explaination. The real story for me though was of the bombing done in this area during the Vietnam war. We (America) dumped hundreds of tons of bombs and in particular "bombies"which are baseball sized antipersonel bombs all over Laos, including the plain of jars. These big and little bombs are still a constant threat to the people of Laos. Each time they plow a field, or dig a hole they risk setting one of these off. Even worse that that, the gunpowder inside the bombs, and the metal from the bomb casings are worth a lot of money, so these very poor people are often killed while trying to take the bombs apart. The picture that doesn't have any jars in it is of a bomb crater in the middle of one of the fields.


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