Occasional attacks by mountain bandits or insurgents have given Xieng Khuang province an uncertain reputation. In particular, tourists have long been discouraged from travelling along Route 7 between Phou Khoun and Phonsavan due to attacks on vehicles by armed bandits – these days, the threat appears to be less, and with limited flights into Phonsavan it’s likely that you will travel this route in order to reach the area. In 2003, two foreign nationals were killed as a result of banditry on this stretch, but it’s important to remember that hundreds of tourists visit the area each month without incident. Of more immediate danger are the mines, bomblets and bombs littering the province. The main Jar sites have been cleared of Unexploded Ordnance (UXO), but it’s important to stick to the paths, and not to pick up or kick any object if you don’t know what it is.

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