Lovely Laos


The Internet is a “sometimes” thing in Laos, which makes blogging a challenge. So, that’s why these posts are being uploaded in Cambodia. But I sure did love our time in Luang Prabang. Get ready for some highlights.

Monks get up at 4 AM every day. They are not allowed to eat after noon; all their food comes from donations so they hit the road early every morning. The head monk leads the way, followed by the “novices”. I don’t blame this little guy for yawning…so was I.
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Back View, heading to the WAT

Back View, heading to the WAT

We followed them to Wat Xiang Thong, formerly the Royal Palace back when Luang Prabang was the capital of Laos. When the king decided to move the capital to Vientiane, he donated his home to the monks.

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The techniques to create the beautiful glass mosaics were learned from the Japanese.

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Similar mosaics cover the walls of the Throne Room in the National Museum, but we weren’t allowed to photograph there. In the National Museum, the walls and ceilings are a deep Chinese red, which makes the glass mosaics even more stunning. The National Museum was built by the French for the last King of Thailand, who ended up in a reeducation camp after the 1975 revolution.

We visited Ock Pop Tok (East meets West) where we met Jo and Val, who demonstrated how their beautiful silk garments were made, starting from the silkworm, through weaving and dying.

Val and Jo

Val and Jo

Do you recognize one of the workers, busily (and professionally) dying a silk scarf?
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We managed to cruise through both the night and the morning markets. These markets are set up and taken down every day!

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Speaking of cruising, we did just that, along the Mekong, to the Pak Ou caves, an important religious site for Laos.

Mike, intently studying the map of the Mekong

Mike, intently studying the map of the Mekong

 

The view of the river from the cave

The view of the river from the cave

Barbara left a small Buddha in the cave, just like a local.

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Could that be Indiana Jones, looking for Buddha?

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Getting to and from our vessel took balance, as demonstrated by Linda.

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