Plain Of Jars Site 21

Phou Keng or Keng Mountain is one of the largest quarry sites.

The jars once completed were moved to Jars Site 1. Ten kilometres away.

Keng Mountain is 1400 metres above sea level.

There are 1250 steps to the top. Big steps too. If normal size, easily 2000 steps.

I made it 3/4 of the way up and had to sit for 5 minutes. But I do tend to power walk.

The peak of the mountain hosts a natural cave that served as shelter during the 2nd Indochina war

The Pathet Lao troops created a 70 metre long bunker with two sections. One for sleeping and one for storing ammunition.

It is pitch dark in here, navigated by Phone torch.

The sections have been walled off. It is possible to look over inside. Mainly dirt that has collapsed .

The LONG Climb Up

A long way to the top.
The rocks are part of the footpath in places
Various rocks where work started then abandoned due to cracks or fault in the rock
Looking back down about half way
Jar Quarry site 2

Sometimes a mason had to abandon the boulder he was carving before finishing a jar.

During the carving process a mason sometimes met a flaw in the boulder that prevented completion.

On other occasions the boulder broke before being completed.

Hypothesis : Steps to Carving a Jar

  1. Select a boulder of a certain size and shape
  2. Square the boulders sides
  3. Carve a base at the boulders wider end
  4. Hollow out the interior
  5. Add finishing touches such as rounding the square walls

Near the Top

Indochina War History

Picture to the left. 1st Indochina War. Picture to the right 2nd Indochina war

Natural Cave and Mountain Peak

Up to the peak and the natural cave
Natural cave. Not much to see inside.
There are two entrances.
A dodgy walk along the edge of the mountain to the other end and exit here.

Standing on the peak.

You have to scramble up the rocks to get to the peak.

The Bunker

Entrance to the bunker.

View Points

Looking at Phonsavan, camera zoom on
Looking towards Phonsavan


Well worth a visit. We didn’t see any other people here.

Pay 10,000 kip to an old lady and man at the base in the office. They look after your gear. Then you ride your bikes up around 200 – 300 metres before parking and beginning the walk up the mountain.

The road is paved all the way from Phonsavan, a bit rough in places. We asked the old man if there is a dirt way back to Phansavan. There is and we followed that back.. Good fun and very sandy.