Manatu

Pig's Ear Park and Other Adventures

Lucked out….

Am sitting in bed under a blanket, two duvets, mit socks, jumper and the shawl (great!!!) and still damn cold!!!!
I am in Phonsavanh which is the jump off point to visit the Plain of Jars, which currently I give not a jot about!!!
The accommodation I am in is very similar to one of the Raglan bunk houses we had years ago, just as many draughty spaces between windows, floor planks etc, get the picture!!!!!
There is a collection of these shacks and a dining area, called Aubergue de Plannes des Jarres. Do not include it in your holiday bookings. Think I am the only mug here!!!!!
Read the visitors book,mlast two entries echoed my sentiments!!!!

Unfortunately it seems like the rest of the accommodation in this area is very similar.

Anyway, the long long drive here, seven hours was interesting, to begin with. Very mountainous, I felt like I had been over all of Nz’s major passes in one day and after no roadworks had been done for twenty years.
This area is populated by the H’Mongs, an ethnic group which is as far as I can tell Chinese in origin, out of Yunnan province in the 18th century.

They supported the Americans in what theycall here(and elsewhere?) The Secret War. Many went to USA after 1975 , those that stayed were sent off to be reeduacated yeah, sure!!!
They live along the road in very basic villages, some just woven bamboo with earth floors, some teak and the odd concrete house.
Went into one village and peeped inside, one large room, sleeping area divided off, rest is living, storing of motorbikes, cooking on an open fire. Area would be no more than 50 square metres, many are less….Larger villages have schools.
Subsistence living off various crops, oranges at present, but they also grow rice and pineapples. Not near here though too damn cold.

Not many tourists about, only a few other minivans about, they seem to be the mode de jour for tourists.
Stopped in a village where they were playing a traditional ball game, we would simply call it “catch”. They all line up and throw a ball to each other. Even littlies can catch one handed.
Of course I had a go, managed one one handed number…

It is not just put on for toursits sa it all the way along in villages. Some of the females, small children and adults were also dressed in traditional costume, very bright colours,long skirts, but some were short , with a very colourful embroidered and beaded vest over a black blouse. Topoed off by quite mad hats with colored fur….

Stopped for lunch at a local cafe, noodle soup, not bad.

Have told the guide I am not a happy camper and my plan for today is to visit one of the three sites of the Jars then skedaddle to Luang Prabang about 280 ks away a day early.
Be interesting to see how it pans out. Last night there were still rooms available at the hotel there, looks fab, even fabber after here!!!!
Dinner was Ok, and sitting right on top of the fire I was almost warm!!!!!

2 Comments

  1. Catherine and Bernard

    December 22, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    Sorry the packing advice did not anticipate inside is probably colder and damper than out. One jar may be the same as all the others. Happy travels and will be visiting shawl shop on my return to hkg.

  2. I skedaddled after seeing a few!!!

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