Hintang Archaeological Park

Hintang Archaeological Park

Ancient stones

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Hua Phan’s answer to The Plain of Jars, Hintang Archaelogical Park (Suan Hintang) consists of a number of sites with clusters of standing stone pillars up to three metres tall. Their origins are a megalithic mystery.

Travelfish says:
Not quite Plain of Jars material. Photo by: Cindy Fan.
Not quite Plain of Jars material. Photo: Cindy Fan

We hoped it would be like the novel/TV series Outlander, and by touching the magic standing stones we would be transported back in time. Alas, no such luck and sadly, the stones no longer have a tourism concession so the site has literally gone to seed. When we visited in 2018, the area was overgrown, the information hut had fallen apart, as had the signs and maps. Local teens now use the area as a hangout/barbecue spot and some of the stones have fallen over, eroded or been damaged by people.

It’s a long journey to see the stones but they may appeal if already travelling by motorbike on Route 6 between Sam Neua and Muang Hiam or Nong Kiaow. The way is off of Route 6 at Ban Phao, 56 kilometres from Sam Neua, close to a small bridge. It’s six kilometres on hilly, eerily quiet dirt road running south. Find the primary cluster of stones right beside the road. This road would be difficult during rainy season.

More popular for a BBQ. Photo by: Cindy Fan.
More popular for a BBQ. Photo: Cindy Fan

The map on this website shows a hiking trail that forks off the road leading through more stones to another village west on Route 6 called Ban Tao Hin. We didn’t independently verify if this path still exists or is overgrown. Just keep in mind that Hua Phan province is heavily contaminated with unexploded ordinances. While it may be tempting to channel Indian Jones and find all 1,546 stones, stick to the ones on the literal ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 300 words.)

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Reviewed by

Cindy Fan is a Canadian writer/photographer and author of So Many Miles, a website that chronicles the love of adventure, food and culture. After falling in love with sticky rice and Mekong sunsets, in 2011 she uprooted her life in Toronto to live la vida Laos. She’s travelled to over 40 countries and harbours a deep affection for Africa and Southeast Asia. In between jaunts around the world, she calls Laos and Vietnam home where you’ll find her traipsing through rice paddies, standing beside broken-down buses and in villages laughing with the locals.

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