Discover a land where archeologists and historians are still making fresh finds all the time. Where the region’s history is being rewritten as new evidence of ancient cultures comes to light.

Traveling in Laos, you feel like a National Geographic explorer from a bygone era.

What will you discover next? #ancientlaos

Hintang Standing Stones

Houaphanh Province

Dating at least some 2,000 years these systerious standing rock slabs and stone disks are located along a 12km mountain ridge in Houaphan Province and can be viewed by a short diversion from the road to the provincial capital of Sam Neua.

No-one is quite sure who put them here or why. The standing stones of Hintang (or menhirs, if you want to be technical) aren’t nearly as grand as their cousins like Stonehenge or Easter Island. And they’re even overshadowed by the nearby jars that give the plain its name.
But they’re believed to be even older than the jars, probably put there by the ancestors of the people that installed the jars. When this forgotten civilization lived–although it’s generally believed to have been thousands of years ago–or even who they were, isn’t clear” – David Coleman

Vat Phou

The Vat Phou (or Wat Phou)  temple complex is one of Southeast Asia’s best examples of both early and classic Khmer architecture dating from the 7th to 12th centuries.

This UNESCO World Heritage Site includes the ancient city of Shestrapura and many little known but interesting archeological sites along the banks of the Mekong River. There are also many fine examples of traditional Lao homes and buildings from the colonial period. If you are in Champasack during February, don’t miss the Vat Phou Festival.

Plain of Jars

Xieng Khouang Province

Thousands of huge stone stone jars, carved from rock, scattered around a plain. How did they get there? What were they used for?

Local legends tell of a race of giants who created the jars for rice beer, while others believe they were created by caravan travelers to collect monsoon rainwater for along their journey. Archeologists postulate that they were used for burial.

Visit this UNESCO World Heritage site to find out more.

Giant Wall / Kampaeng Yark


The Giant Wall is the site of a thousand – or million – year mystery. Is the wall a wonder of geology – or was it built by a past civilisation?

The massive sandstone wall runs for 15km near the east bank of the Mekong. Visit one part of the wall, just west of Route 13, 6km north of Thakhek, and decide for yourself. Here you will see a complete 75 metre section of the 16 metre high wall. This is also a special place because many years ago French missionaries built a Christian shrine beside the wall. Local communities held Catholic services in this ‘open air cathedral’ that you can visit today.


17°27’24.0″N 104°46’33.0″E

Route 13, 6km north of Thakek

Translate »