This summer we stayed (relatively) local and did a round trip from HCMC, to Thailand and Laos then back through the North of Vietnam stopping at Hanoi, Hoi An and Hue before heading back down here. We have a side trip to Singapore sorted for the weekend but that doesn't count as holidays because it's mainly opticians and knicker multi packs.
This time we visited Xieng Khuang province, home of the giant and mysterious stone jars and one of the most bombed areas in the most bombed country in the world. MAG, the Mines Advisory Group gives good information on unexploded bomb clearance projects in Laos.
Jars, purpose unknown.
There are thousands to see, and almost as many will make it to the Flickr account, click on any picture to take you there where you can spend hours looking at someone elses holiday pictures. Irresistible.
The Mines Advisory Group are doing a good job but it's a vast undertaking.
Below is a marker identifying the end of the safe zone. There's no way I was crossing it.
The results of further bombing are all too visible in the old capital city of Xieng Khuang, Muang Khoung, flattened with only a few exceptions.
Here, the ruins of a hospital built by the French during their tenure.
In the same area is a ruined temple, the Buddha still nearly intact but showing terrible ravages.
More on Laos later, I'm still organising the pictures I took.