Phonsavan, the capital of the Xiangkhoang Province, is one of the most beautiful places you will ever see. In fact, the name for the city literally means “hills of paradise,” and it is a paradise to view. Dominated by lush green hills and pine forests, the villages built of small amazing wooden houses, that hearken back to a simpler time in the world. In this area you will find many Hmong cowboys adorned in their colorful cowboy hats as they roam the area watching over the agriculture and livestock. It is really something to see.
A Little About Phonsavan
With a population of 37,500 people, this is not a large city by any stretch of the imagination. This is still a largely agricultural land, that helps to service the agricultural needs of much of the country. The fact that it is about 1100 yards above sea level helps to keep the temperatures cool in the area making it ideal for agriculture.
The average temperature in Phonsavan is about 59°F, with the average high reaching about 68 in both June and July. These are also the rainiest months of the year, with both averaging better than 11 inches per month. The large amount of rain helps to keep the crops nourished and plush, as well as all of the other plant life within the area.
Getting to Phonsavan —> BOOK FLIGHT
There is an airport in Phonsavan, Xiang Khouang Airport, but only one airline services the airport itself, Lao Airlines. This only flies to the city for times a week from Vientiane and a few other times during the week from Hanoi, Vietnam. You should plan accordingly for your trip making sure you are aware that there are limitations for getting in and out of the city.
There is also bus service that helps to get into Phonsavan. Several different cities in Laos and Vietnam offer the ability to reach the city, but most trips take between 10 and 12 hours to get there. Again, tourists should be prepared for long stays and travel times.
Great Places to See in Phonsavan
There are many wonderful sites to visit in the city. For war historians, the Indochinese War Sites are a place you will truly love visiting. This was the site not only of extensive ground battles that occurred during the Second Indochina War, but was also the location where heavy carpet bombing by the United States occurred.
This is a very interesting site to visit and has become known as the Plain of Jars. This is because several different places throughout the plateau area there are stone jars that are used to hold artifacts and other archaeological pieces to battles that have occurred from as far back as 500 BC all the way up to the time of the Vietnam war. Many hold the remains of warriors lost during these battles.
The caves that are found within the city area hold an incredible amount of history to them as well. For thousands of years these have become the refuge during times of war for those who have been fleeing to avoid conflicts. There is no greater time that these are needed then during the Indochinese War with thousands of refugees fled to them to avoid the massive bombing that is occurring. It is both a sad reminder of times past as well as a commemoration to the human spirits will to survive.