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Study Trip

A visit to the Plain of Jars and Luang Prabang, Lao PDR

Saturday, 13 to Wednesday, 17 May 2017
Leader: Mr. Euayporn Kerdchouay, Senior Consultant

 

 

Plan of Jars
The Plain of Jars is a large area extending around Phonsavan from the southwest to the northeast, where huge jars of unknown origin are scattered about in over a dozen groupings. Despite local myth, the jars have been fashioned from solid stone, most from a tertiary conglomerate known as molasse, and a few from granite. “Quarries” west of Muang Sui have been discovered containing half finished jars. Apparently the jars were carved from solid boulders of a varying sizes, which goes a long way to explain the many difference sizes and shapes.

The jars are commonly said to be 2000 years old, but in the absence of any organic material associated with the jars – e.g. bones or food remains – there is no reliable way to date them. All of the unanswered questions regarding the Plain of Jars make this area ripe for archaeological investigation. The altitude (average 1,200 m) in central Xieng Khuang, including Phonsavan and the Plain of Jars, means there is an excellent climate, not too hot in the hot season, not too cold in the cool season and not too wet the rainy season. It is an attractive area with wonderful views.

Luang Prabang
Hidden away amid lush, wooded hills, the ancient Laotian capital of Luang Prabang is one of the truly special places of Asia. Graceful arched roofs of temples emerge from the morning mist and the chant of Buddhist monks resonates through quiet streets at dawn. The royal capital of the former kingdom of Lane Xang, Luang Prabang has retained its historical authenticity and still embodies the serenity of its Buddhist heritage. Luang Prabang today is a palimpsest of centuries of social, political and cultural exchange, negotiation, and synthesis. The town’s 34 temples stand alongside French colonial government buildings; artwork reflecting the distinctive traces of Sukhothai, Lan Na, Tai Lue, Bangkok and even Burmese culture can be found in the town’s monuments and religious artifacts; and the former Royal Palace is now a museum.

 

 

The tentative programme will be as follows:

Day 1: Saturday, 13 May: Bangkok – Vientiane – Xieng Khuang

7:30 a.m. Meet at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport
9:45 a.m. Depart Bangkok for Vientiane by Bangkok Airways flight PG 943
11:00 a.m. Arrive at Vientiane Airport, pass immigration control, check in for domestic flight to Xieng Khuang by Lao Airlines flight QV401
3:10 p.m. Arrive at Xieng Khuang Airport
  Visit the local market of Xieng Khuang and check in at the hotel
- Dinner and overnight at hotel Vanasana Plain of Jars

Day 2: Sunday, 14 May: Xieng Khuang – Plain of Jars

7:30 a.m. Breakfast at the hotel
- Full day visit 3 sites of Plain of Jars. Stone jars of different sizes, carved out of solid rocks, are scattered all over the plateau. The biggest one has a height  of 3.25 meters and is estimated to be 2,000 to 3,000 years old
Noon: Lunch at local restaurant
- Dinner at local restaurant and overnight at hotel Vanasana Plain of Jars

Day 3: Monday, 15 May: Xieng Khuang – Luang Prabang

7:00 a.m. Breakfast at the hotel and proceed by coach to Luang Prabang
Noon: Picnic Lunch
Late afternoon: Arrive at Luang Prabang and visit some of the principal historical sites
Evening: Check in at hotel
- Dinner at own arrangement
  Overnight at hotel Grand Luang Prabang

Day 4: Tuesday, 16 May: Luang Prabang

Early morning: Optional: Participate in “Tak Bat” ceremony, visit the morning market and back to hotel
7:00 a.m. Breakfast at the hotel
9:00 a.m. Visit the Royal Palace and the museum
10:30 a.m. Embark on a boat ride upstream along the Mekong River, visit Pak Ou Caves
Noon: Lunch at local restaurant near Pak Ou Caves
Afternoon: Boat ride back to Luang Prabang
- At leisure at the hotel
- Dinner at the restaurant in the city
- Overnight at hotel Grand Luang Prabang

Day 5: Wednesday, 17 May: Luang Prabang – Bangkok

7:00 a.m. Breakfast at hotel
Morning: Visit many beautiful temples in Luang Prabang including Wat Xien Thong, Wat Visoun and Wat Aham
Noon: Lunch at local restaurant
Afternoon: Visit handicraft and weaving center
5:25 p.m. Depart Luang Prabang for Bangkok by Bangkok Airways flight PG946
7:25 p.m. Arrive at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport

The Siam Society reserves the right to change the programme as necessary.

Booking

Bt. 55,500 (or Bt. 58,500 for non-members). Single room surcharge Bt. 7,000. A deposit of Bt. 15,000 and photocopy of passport much accompany the booking. Please pay by cash or cheque payable to ‘The Siam Society”. Alternatively you can deposit/transfer the money to the Siam Society travel account at the Thai Military Bank, Asoke Branch saving account no. 053-2-18000-7. Please fax or e-mail the deposit or transfer docket to us.

Your reservation will be confirmed as soon as the deposit has been made. There is a 4% surcharge for credit/debit card payment to cover bank charges.

Includes/Excludes:

The contribution includes airfares, airport transfer, 4 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 3 dinners, accommodation for two persons per room, entrance fees, tips to local guide and driver and other costs incurred to make this trip possible.

It excludes visa fee, personal expenses, tips for additional service, any chargeable beverages/ drinks (e.g. hotel minibar), payment or offering for photographing and video shooting, individual service apart from the group, other expense of personal nature like telephone calls, laundry etc.

Cancellation charge:

30 days before the start of the trip:                       No cancellation charge
30 – 15 days before the start of the trip:                50% of the tour cost
Less than 15 days or cancellation without notice:    No refund

The Siam Society reserves the right to change the programme as necessary. Seats are limited. Please book your place as soon as possible. For further information and bookings please contact Khun Prasert or Khun Pinthip.