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Agarwood II

More shots from the agarwood factory outside of Pak Kading in Laos (see Agarwood). Truly a wondrous and incredibly photogenic place. To illustrate the basic workflow in the factory, the raw material (shown above in the background) is first choppped into small pieces (mid-frame) and allowed to dry in the sun for several days. Under the watchful eyes of several (plastic) bodhisattvas in the colorful altar.

A slurry is made from the wood pieces and this is allowed to brew for several more days. This slurry is then distilled using a wood fire (logs are slowly fed into the firebox) in a large brick furnace. 

The final distillate is collected in an intriguing piece of glassware (burette?) straight out of a Victorian chemistry lab. [NOTE: The color of the sky and the wispy clouds shown in the first image give some idea of the amazing weather experienced during this trip to Laos. Counting rattans in a light sweater. No bugs. This is about as good as it gets].

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