Phonsovan has two claims to fame, firstly it is known as the most heavily bombed place in the country, and that is quite a claim in a country that is the most heavily bombed in the world!! The enterprising locals have however turned this to their advantage and you can find virtually anything and everything now made from old bomb casings; from houses to farm tools and ornaments to kitchenware. The area is still plagued with unexploded ordinance (UXO) but your guides travel well trodden paths and know the areas to avoid.
Secondly, the province is known for being the home to the unexplained Plain of Jars. Up to now no one has been able to explain the origin of these mysterious huge abandoned stone containers found strewn eerily across a high grassy plain near the town, some of which weigh upwards of six tonnes. The jars are estimated to be between 2500 – 3000 years old. While not everyone’s immediate choice of place to visit on a Laos itinerary it does make an interesting few days if you have the time. Phonsovan is best accessed by air from Vientiane. The road journey is long, arduous and not particularly scenic.