There are not a lot of options for hotels in Phonsavan, and the Vansana Plain Of Jars Hotel was recommended by our travel agent. We stayed for two nights. It is located on top of a ridge above the small downtown area of Phonsavan. It is a good 15 minute walk down into the town center, and we made use of the free shuttle provided by the hotel to take us down town to the MAG information center (Mines Advisory Group), a voluntary organization dealing with the vast quantity of still unexploded bombs that continue to be a serious problem in this whole area. The shuttle will also pick you up at your specified time to return to the hotel.
The hotel is old, with a central area of reception, living and dining rooms and a nice outdoor terrace. From this reception area, the hotel rooms are along the ridge. My room looked out on to a rural landscape. Some rooms look out over the town of Phonsavan. The evening views of the town were lovely; the misty fog of the morning which created an eerie light over the town in the morning was quite beautiful to see. The room was quite dated in furnishings, very simple and adequate for our purposes. This is not a lavish hotel by any means. There was no airconditioning (and it was not needed), and a fan was provided in the room. The worst part of the room was the hard beds. They were dreadful. Why oh why? It was like sleeping on concrete. On both nights we had dinner in the hotel. We had to make our selection some time before dinner and specify what time we wanted it. An extensive menu was provided to select from. Food was pleasant and tasty. Breakfast was provided - a limited selection buffet, however it was totally adequate, perhaps because there did not seem to be too many staying in the hotel. There was no electricity during one late afternoon. It was a good base for visiting the Plain of Jars sites (fabulous) as well as exploring simple villages, and coming to terms with the dreadful damage and legacy of many years of bombings and the problems of unexploded bombs.
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