We booked a tour to go see the famous Plain of Jars and I almost backed out on account of being ill. I'm glad that I didn't because I started to feel a bit better through the day and the jars were really amazing. We went to all three of the sites (there are more scattered through the countryside but these are the locations where all the bombs have been removed), visited a village where they make Lao Lao (Laos whiskey) and saw an abandoned Russian tank. All vehicles that go to these sites need to be registered (and it's pretty spread out to the various sites) so it's necessary to go on a tour. We could have gotten a better price if we'd shopped around and haggled but the price wasn't bad and I was feeling sick so we didn't bother.
The jars are 2000- 3000 years old and no one is really sure why they were made. The best guess is that they were used as graves but there is no real proof- just one skeleton and some beads were found inside of one of the jars. Our guide told us that before the war there had been a lot more trees but since then the soil is poisoned and things aren't growing very well. We also saw a number of craters caused from the bombs. The experience was fantastic and I took a ton of pictures.
The next day we had nothing to do but wait- the bus to Hanoi only left on Monday mornings and really, we had been lucky to show up in Phonsavan on Friday night and not earlier in the week. I spent the day resting and trying to get well enough for the epic journey to Hanoi and Matt got some studying in. Phonsavan was a cool place to visit but I can honestly say that I won't be returning. I took a million pictures of the jars and the tank so you can get your fill here.