plain-of-jars-lightThe Plain of Jars Site 1, my final stop over a hellishly adventurous day of exploring ancient ruins amidst active minefields. I was convinced my wrists may be broken after 5 hours of riding on a motorcycle after a spill on a jagged road.

Site 1 is the largest and most accessible of the Plain of Jars sites, making it less appealing in a way. Dozens of giant stone jars little a landscape torn apart by stray bombs from the Vietnam War. Their purpose is unknown. Why would people who live in reed and bamboo homes and barely subsist in rice cultivation have put so much effort into creating such massive stoneworks?

Through the pain, as it might be my only chance to ever see these, it had been an otherwise amazing day. Small Laos towns, abandoned war zones, mysterious ancient monuments. Late in my time at Site 1, the newly thickened clouds gave way to an immense pillar of light shining down over the hills of this once-devastated plain.