Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Andrew in the provinces - Trip 2 Xieng Khouang - part 3

Omelette for breakfast and Lao coffee in the traditional manner i.e. strong with a good dollop of condensed milk in the bottom. 
Defused UXOs are commonly used as decoration
 A six hour drive back to the airport in Xieng Khouang. Four hours was along mountainous windy roads where we probably drove at speeds between 15 and 50kmph. In the village there are 30km speed signs posted but they are just guidance. The domestic activity on the road slows the pace. Such activity can include chickens and their brood, dogs, ducks with ducklings, children, buffalos, resting cattle beasts, pigs and the odd motor bike.

At 6:15 there were already school children on the country road walking to the village school, some eating breakfast on the way.

We were stopped by the police in a small village – for no apparent reason to me. The driver showed some papers, they had a walk around the vehicle and opened the back door and had a look at me. We then proceeded on.

The villages vary of construction with timber structures often at a raised level of 1.5 - 2 meters; this allows storage beneath the hut. They were usually had wooden exteriors or bamboo skin woven on a frame. Roofing was frequently made of thatched material.

Having a little time before the flight we had a look at the Plain of Jars, there a several hundred of these. NZ Aid has done major work there removing UXOs (unexploded objects). No one is sure what the origin and purpose of the jars are, but they are made from solid stone and some of the larger ones we saw were as tall as me. Because they are of organic matter it is hard to date them but they are supposed to be 2000 years old. unesco explanation of plain of jars

Returned the airport and Vientiane.

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