Plain of Jars Sites to Be Offered Under Concession to Private Company

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Laos’ Plain of Jars Becomes UNESCO World Heritage Site
Laos’ Plain of Jars became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2020.

Authorities in Xieng Khouang Province have announced that management of part of the Plain of Jars may be offered as a concession to a private company.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the Xieng Khouang Provincial Department of Planning and Investment and CNP Import-Export Trading Company for a feasibility study on the management of parts of the archeological site.

The Plain of Jars is a UNESCO-registered landscape in Laos famed for its tubular-shaped stone jars used for funerary practices in the Iron Age. It comprises thousands of stone jars dispersed throughout the upland valleys and lower foothills of the Xieng Khouang Plateau’s central plain. The jars are clustered in quantities over several sites spanning from one to several hundred.

As part of its feasibility study, CNP would propose how it plans to manage tourism entry and activities at Site 1 and Site 2 if awarded the concession.

Site 2 of the Plain of Jars consists of two hills separated by a shallow gully that serves as an access road, while Site 3 features nearly 250 jars and 45 stone discs.

The MOU signing ceremony was attended by key stakeholders, officials, and dignitaries, including Mr. Khamphoui Nola, Head of the Planning and Investment Department in Xieng Khuang, Mrs. Channapha Vongsamorlaphoum, President of CNP Import-Export Trading Co., Ltd., Mr. Bounchan Sivongphan, Governor of Xieng Khouang Province. 

Governor Bounchan emphasized the need for cooperation among stakeholders and concessionaires to create a detailed plan for the project’s prompt implementation. He stressed the importance of disseminating information about the memorandum to local people to foster understanding and unity.

“This Plain of Jars concession project can serve as a model initiative for tourism development,” said Mr. Bounchan Sivongphan, expressing hope that its success will pave the way for similar projects, benefiting the local economy and communities.