In north central Laos, there lies an area known to only a small number of interested travelers, archaeologists and historians, those mainly fascinated by the thousands of years old stone jars that are found at sites scattered about the vicinity. Fewer still, are aware of the tragic history of the area, in particular the utter devastation unleashed during years of the most intensive bombing campaign in the history of warfare. It is unfortunate that so few people know about the place, since both episodes of its history have much to teach us.
Lao stories and legends claim that there was a race of giants who once inhabited the area. Local legend tells of an ancient king called Khun Cheung, who fought a long, victorious battle against his enemy. He supposedly created the jars to brew and store huge amounts of lao lao rice wine to celebrate his victory.