We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Two nights at Phonsavan/Plain of Jars

Which Phonsavan hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Boulder, Colorado
Level Contributor
1,521 posts
548 reviews
Save Topic
Two nights at Phonsavan/Plain of Jars

Laos Travel Part 2 Phonsavan

On November 5,2011 we flew Lao Air QV 401 to Xieng Khouang from Vientiane. If I remember correctly the cost was about $100US/pp. Since we had called the ANOULAK Hotel a few days before to make a reservation for 2 nights, the hotel van was waiting for us at the airport.

The cost at ANOULAK was $25/night and I’ve done a review”The Place to Stay” 4/5.Thanks to Helen for mentioning it. The town is small……there isn’t much to do except the Jars and the people are extremely friendly. It didn’t take long to settle in and the first order of “business” was finding a tour for the following day. Interestingly, we discovered that we and a few others were the first wave of tourists “in season”. No one on the main drag quoted a group tour. Since we were a “captured” audience, we had no choice but to take a private tour at a cost of $71 for the two of us.(Supporting the economy). We ultimately booked thru the hotel.

We were fortunate to have Mr. Tey as our driver/guide for the day. His driving was excellent,his English was good and he was funny and personable. His e-mail is: lassadatey@yahoo.com and his phone number is: 020 2294 6979.

Tey picked us up at 5 AM and we headed to the HMONG MARKET. We got there in the dark, but the place was bustling. The morning market is only on Wednesday and Sunday This was a Sunday and supposedly the better day. Vendors were selling ordinary clothing; there were national dress stalls; animals were being sold and the produce was gorgeous! The veggies are all organic. Only one other couple showed up after us.(European). Everyone was SO friendly, including the children. Even at this ungodly hour in the AM there were LOTS of smiles.

Afterwards, Tey took us to the Hmong Village close by. Probably about 50 families live here. The dwellings were one story, there was satellite for TV, thatched roofs are replaced each year and there is also a school. Did you know that the windows of the dwelling are tiny or non-existent to keep the spirits out?

Arrived back at the hotel for breakfast. We were not overwhelmed,but so be it. Tey showed up at 8:45 AM and off we went to site 3. Loved the countryside…..the road is something else.It makes the road to CHACO CANYON in the US smooth and pleasureable. After a while we headed to site 2A and 2B. We both responded to 2B more. We stopped for lunch and that was noodle soup. That fortified us for the ride to site 1. OMG……the roads!!!!! Once we got our bearings, the lower level site impressed us.

We ate at CRATERS both nights. I did a review: “Convenient” 3/5.

On Monday, November 7 we headed to Luang Prabang by mini-van. We booked this too through the hotel.($15US/pp). There were only 5 of us in the van so the space was fine. Laos is, indeed, beautiful. However, the road is winding,winding and winding. It seemed never ending. In retrospect, I know this trip was preparing us for the Mae Hong Son loop in Thailand, with it’s over 1800 curves! If you are prone to car sickness, DO think twice about doing this. Phonsavan to Luang Prabang is a bit over 6 hours. Our driver was NOT a slow poke.

With the memories of Vientiane and the Plain of Jars deep in our “data bank” we could only look forward to more of Laos and Luang Prabang: our home for a week.

Look for Laos Travel Part 3 Luang Prabang

sydney
Destination Expert
for Cambodia
Level Contributor
17,649 posts
81 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Two nights at Phonsavan/Plain of Jars

Nice to have 5 in a minibus... did your driver stop for additional passengers en route? Our guy did and we went from 7 to 14 .. a bit squeezy but hey.. that's part of the experience... and the scenery on that road is stunning!

helen

Boulder, Colorado
Level Contributor
1,521 posts
548 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Two nights at Phonsavan/Plain of Jars

The scenery IS stunning....if you are not car sick!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

No, our driver did not pick up passengers......he let 2 off at that 'big" town we passed through. They had another bus to catch and we three took a bathroom break!

sydney
Destination Expert
for Cambodia
Level Contributor
17,649 posts
81 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Two nights at Phonsavan/Plain of Jars

eeewwwww! too much information Ronnie.

Drivers in SE Asia fascinate me in a strange kind of way.... and now I understand Asian drivers at home much better. The fellow we had enroute from LP to Phonsavan didn't seem to have the same kind of understanding as I do about gears. He'd get to 4th gear and stay there, break hard for corners and then we'd lurch & shudder back up to speed as the engine strained and groaned and then repeat the same thing for the next corner, and the next... no notion of dropping down a gear for corners.

And then there were the phone calls .... that puts me off because at home talking on your mobile while driving is totally banned and carries big fines (doesn't mean drivers don't do it though) When teaching my 16yr old daughter to drive a few years ago I relegated her phone to the boot so she couldn't answer it.

Boulder, Colorado
Level Contributor
1,521 posts
548 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Two nights at Phonsavan/Plain of Jars

We know EXACTLY what you mean. DH did a lot of mumbling.

Vientiane, Laos
Level Contributor
7 posts
72 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Two nights at Phonsavan/Plain of Jars

We also used Tey as our guide for a one-day tour and he was absolutely brilliant, couldn't praise him enough. However, the hotel (Vansana Plain of Jars) had arranged the tour for us and charged us $150 dollars, which seems about double what most people paid. So contact Tey directly seems to be the best option. The email address above doesn't quite match what he gave us - lassada_tey@yahoo.com (underline is not in the above address so maybe try both!) bu the phone number is the same.

Boulder, Colorado
Level Contributor
1,521 posts
548 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Two nights at Phonsavan/Plain of Jars

Thanks for "jogging my memory" $150 sounds more than outrageous though.

However.....it's only money!

Oregon
Level Contributor
309 posts
134 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Two nights at Phonsavan/Plain of Jars

NEVER take a hotel-arranged tour unless you enjoy throwing money out the window. The sad part is that the hotel probably pocketed $100, none of which went to the local economy, but rather to the Chinese owners. Keep it local if you can. You'll save $$$ as well as directly benefit the Laotian people.

Save Reply
8. Re: Two nights at Phonsavan/Plain of Jars

Please note the correct email address for the wonderful Mr Tey is lassadateypdj@yahoo.com. We just finished a great day of jars, very muddy but no one else around and am looking forward to the market tomorrow morning. even though its low season it was worth booking a couple of days ahead because there were still tourists looking for a guide with no luck. Price is more than original post, was going to be $120 everything included for full day jars and morning market for 1 person.

Boulder, Colorado
Level Contributor
1,521 posts
548 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Two nights at Phonsavan/Plain of Jars

Laos feels like EONS ago. But the memories still linger.

Safe travels to all. Getting ready to leave for Europe Aug.13th.......for 8 weeks.

Paris......Hamburg.......Slovenia........Croatia.

Please say a prayer that my knees will be OK. Getting a steroid shot in each knee so I can make this trip. The cortisone may/may not work. It did work last year before heading to Buenos Aires for 3 months.

Thank you much.

Melbourne
2 posts
1 review
Save Reply
10. Re: Two nights at Phonsavan/Plain of Jars

Hello travellers

I would like to endorse the sentiments of the author of the first post, regarding their opinion of Mr Tey. Tey is a fantastic guide. He is knowledgeable, enthusiastic, friendly, and has great sense of humour. His English is excellent, and he is great conversationalist, having studied English and History at Vientiane University.

I met Tey two days ago, when I met up with him taking another group around the Plain of Jars, as I was wandering around alone, and had been ripped off by unscrupulous tout, ( who shall remain nameless, are you are listening Mr VONG) who charged me $100 for full day tour, with expection of an English speaking guide . I was not the only person deceived by VONG that day! Alas, I was both overcharged and mislead, as my driver, ( who was a lovely man) did not know a word of English! By contrast, Mr Tey, is an officially licensed guide and let me tag along with the other group , because he knew I had been scammed and felt sorry for me! Tey is a great communicator of information about the Jar history and the history of the Vietnam/ Lao/ US conflict, and UXO legacy which has affected this area with such tragic and lasting effects. I heartily recommend contacting Mr Tey if you wish to have a great experience visiting the Plain of Jars and the other places of interest around Phonsavan. His contact details are email Lassadateypdj@yahoo.com. Mobile 020 22946979. Enjoy this Phonsavan. There is more to the province than just Jars! Go Mr Tey and the other official guides who help tourists enjoy and understand the delights of Phonsavan and the surrounding area. I had a great two days with him!