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The jagged road where I took a spill.

Roads can be rough and my experience searching for the Plain of Jars in Phonsavan, Laos gave me a new appreciation for pavement.

Being the intrepid archaeologist-explorer that I am, I decided to forego the scheduled tours and find the Plain of Jars sites on my own. This entailed a solitary sojourn out into the central Laotian countryside in an area notoriously littered with leftover unexploded bombs from the Vietnam War. This little adventure required getting my own transportation.

I had been warned that the roads were bad from the people I rented my motorcycle from. When I heard this, I brushed it off as meaning Thailand bad, something still very manageable. I would find out quickly that Laos bad was a whole different level.

What began as a simple sandy road soon became a road spiked with jagged rocks sticking out all over. A slight curve to maneuver around them, and I was falling off the bike and catching myself on the pinky finger side of each hand. This probably saved my head, but took its toll on my hands.

I spent the next half hour standing over the bike, feeling the various bones from my wrist through fingers trying to figure out if they were broken. I still hadn’t convinced myself that they weren’t broken when I came to decision to get back on the bike and continue on, but it was either find these Jars, the whole reason I had come here, or just turn around for a half hour ride back through the same road conditions.

So trying to put the pain out of mind as I wrapped each finger around the throttle and went forward. The Jars and plenty other interesting sites lie down the road to be discovered and were certainly worth enduring this pain for.


A nice view further down the road.

Benjamin Williams

Hi all, my name is Ben. I’m a native Michigander with a passion for human culture and new places, and more than that, new experiences. I have degrees in archaeology and writing, pursuing a career in the latter. However, I never quite lost that fascination for archaeological theory. For the past 11 years, I’ve been living and travelling between Asia, Europe, and North America, documenting ancient sites and the peoples who built them, and then adapting them into practical archaeological travel information at


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