Hintang Archaelogical Park
Sam Neua's answer to the Plain of Jars
What we say:
Sam Neua's answer to The Plain of Jars consists of a number of sites featuring clusters of standing stone pillars which rise out of the earth inexplicably.
Not a natural feature of the local geology, little is known about why these totems have been placed there or what their purpose is. Despite this, the stones have been dated to the same age as the Jars at Phonsavan, and may be a relic of the same civilisation. Like the Jars, speculation is generally that their function was funerary.
Signage at the site explains the site's history. There is a simple hut at the entrance. While no fee is currently being charged, we were told that it officially it's supposed to be.
The Tourism Office organises treks and tours that take in the Stone Park, either as a direct visit, or in conjunction with other local activities, such as a waterfall and an overnight stay in a local village. A couple of guesthouses also hire out a car and driver so you can do it independently.
Alternatively, it is possible to take the public bus to Ban Phao from the bus station on the hill departing at either 07:30 or 08:00. These buses are bound for Luang Prabang and speed past the park turn off â€“ negotiate with the ticket office to take you.
If the ticket office won't take you, look for a songthaew heading that way. It's a six-kilometre walk from the signposted turn off in Ban Phao to the stones. Buses zooming along the road to Sam Neua will pass Ban Phao at about 17:00, but it's best to be at the road by about 16:00 to ensure you catch one. They are en route from Luang Prabang and Phonsavan and you will need to flag one down.
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