Day 126

So today’s update includes Louangphabang and Vang Vieng.


A John Ruskin quote nailed to a tree – “Living without an aim is like sailing without a compass”.


Wat Mai Suwannaphumaham Buddhist Temple.


Decorative gold leaf columns of the Buddhist temple.


A stupa flanked by two small stone chapels at Wat Mai Suwannaphumaham Temple.


Another quote of wisdom – “Everyone may be a fool but nobody is a fool forever”.


One final quote nailed to a tree – “The wise master themselves”.


Haw Pha Bang Temple in the grounds of the National Museum, previously the Royal Palace, in Louangphabang.


Dragon on a solid balustrade by steps leading to the main entrance of Haw Pha Bang Temple.


View of what was the Royal Palace roof through the trees. The Royal Palace was converted into the National Museum after the monarchy was overthrown in 1975 by the communists and the royal family were taken to re-education camps.


Dragons on solid balustrades by steps leading to one of two small entrances that flank the main entrance to the temple.


Decorative doors and ceiling of one of two small entrances to the temple.


A stone elephant covered in individual small glazed emerald green tiles built into a lower wall surrounding the temple.


A tree entwined with various green leafed plants.


Introduction to the maknamtaopung tree.


Fruit on a maknamtaopung tree.


Statue of King Sisavang Vong outside the conference hall in the National Museum grounds.


Haw Pha Bang Temple.


A renovated stupa at the base of Mount Phu Si.


View from Mount Phu Si.


View from Mount Phu Si across the Mekong River.


That Chomsi golden stupa on Mount Phu Si.


Flower buds beginning to open on a plant on Mount Phu Si.


View of Louangphabang from Mount Phu Si.


View of Louangphabang from Mount Phu Si.


Wine o’clock – ladies night.


Group photo outside Vang Vieng Rock Backpackers’ Hostel.


Riverside restaurant on the banks of the Nam Song River.


Cloud descending on the limestone mountains lining the Nam Song River.


Wooden bridge over the Nam Song River at Vang Vieng.


Motorbike travelling on the wooden bridge over the Nam Song River at Vang Vieng.


Tree-lined man-made path through the woodland.


Surrounded by dense greenery.


Farmer walking on a raised walkway between paddy fields.


The climate reflected in the farming of the paddy fields and green plant life.


Cows wandering along the banks of the Nam Song River.


Bridge over the Nam Song River, with clouds shielding the peak of a limestone mountain.


And an adhoc photo to add to the update.


Interesting cafe. Besides regular coffee they also serve nitro coffee. Nitro coffee is a cold brewed coffee infused with nitrogen and served from a tap. With a frothy head, nitro coffee is similar to Guiness but without the alcohol.


Vientiane – The Golden Stupa and Reclining Buddha.


The Pha That Luang Buddhist Stupa also known as the Golden Stupa. The most important monument in Laos and a national symbol.


Statue of King Setthathirat – ruler from 1548 to 1571.


Statue of King Setthathirat.


A Buddha on an altar in a small shrine next to the golden stupa.


Fresh fruit and flowers left by devotees next to a figurine at the base of the altar in the small shrine.


The Golden Stupa is covered in 500 kilogrammes of gold leaf.


The gold leaf on the golden stupa glistening in the sunlight.


Steps flanked by nagas on the balustrades leading to an altar under a pavilion at the entrance to the golden stupa.


The outer wall of the golden stupa.


The sunlight reflecting on the golden stupa.


Pavilion at the entrance to the golden stupa.


The Golden Stupa.


A Buddha statue with platted hair made of rope.


Graduation students outside the exterior wall and entrance to Pha That Luang Buddhist Stupa complex.


A naga – naga are believed to live in the Laotian stretch of the Mekong River or its estuaries. Lao mythology maintains that the naga are the protectors of Vientiane and throughout Laos.


Charms placed on a Buddha statue.


Closer look at the facial features and detail on the head of a Buddha Statue.


Steps leading to the entrance of Pha That Luang Temple.


Steps leading to the entrance of Pha That Luang Temple.


Me in the main worshipping hall at Pha That Luang Temple, with a Buddha statute on an altar in the background.


Me sat on a rather official looking throne-style seat in the main worshipping hall.


Bit of a glow about me.


Three Buddha statues flanked by candelabras in Pha That Luang Temple.


A small Buddha sculpture on the wall of the temple.


A man and his dog taking a nap on a tiled floor in front of a collection of gilded Buddha statues.


Two animal sculptures, a monkey and a elephant, at the feet of one of the gilded Buddha’s.


Ramayana scene carved on wall of the temple.


The decorative roof of the entrances at the golden stupa temple complex, with the golden stupa in the background.


A statue of a dragon-headed cockerel.


A emerald green and gold Buddha statue.


View of the head of the reclinging Buddha, as seen through a pavilion containing an altar.


Head of reclining golden buddha.


Mini-group photo in front of the reclining golden Buddha.


Vientiane – Feeling relaxed !

Today I went to a monastery and did meditation with the monks. Then Jane and I went to have a sauna and massage in the woods.


Entrance to Wat Sok Pa Luang Buddhist Monastery, Temple and Highschool.


Buddhist Monk deep in thought, with washed robes drying on a line nearby.


Approximate currency conversion – Sauna 15,ooo Laos Kip = £1.40 / Massage 50,000 Laos Kip = £4.70.


The grounds of the wellness centre in the woods, with hammocks strung between trees.


First impressions ? Probably not what most people would envisage when arriving for a massage and a sauna.




The wellness centre carpark, or rather motorbike park.


Dog relaxing in the grounds of the wellness centre in the woods.


Jane and I with a healthy glow after our traditional Lao sauna and massage.


Taking the overnight sleeper bus tomorrow to Vietnam.


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