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Entries in Vientiane (15)



I arrived last night to Vientiane, Laos and started a three-day workshop on rattan growth this morning at the local WWF office. Lectured for about two hours on the theory and methodology of sustainable resource harvest, and then spent the rest of the day processing four years of size-specific growth data with foresters from Laos and Cambodia. After flying 19 hours yesterday and ending up 12 hours on the wrong time zone, I was really wishing I had a hammock (see above) to stretch out in at about two o'clock this afternoon. [NOTE: Workshop seems to be going well and participants are enthusiastic about learning what do with all the growth measurements from their permanent sample plots. Off the the field tomorrow to have a look at some of these plots.]


Sweeping Up

Older monk sweeping up at the entrance to Wat Si Saket (see Wat Si Saket) in Vientiane. The monastery hadn't opened yet for the day, and it was just me taking pictures and him meticulously sweeping up little bits of paper, flower petals, and dirt. All very quiet and mindful.


Pha That Luang Altar

One of many altars at Pha That Luang in Vientiane, Laos. I love all of the different shades of saffron. Together with the blue vase. And the piercing gaze of the Buddha. [NOTE: In my browser, the highlight color of links matches the saffron in the image perfectly].


Tuk-tuk to Pha That Luang

Pha That Luang, the gold covered stupa located about 4 km NW of Vientiene, is the most important national monument in Laos.  Of the four wat originally built around the stupa, only two remain: Wat That Luang Tai to the south and Wat That Luang Neua to the north. The later is the monastic residence of the Supreme Patriarch of Lao Buddhism [NOTE: The stupa is said to contain the breast bone of Lord Buddha]. 

The most enjoyable way to visit this spectacular Buddhist complex is by tuk-tuk.


Wat Si Saket

Si Saket is a beautiful wat, or Buddhist monastery, in Vientiane, Laos. It was constructed in 1818 on the orders of King Anouvong, and is probably the oldest temple in Vientiane. The terrace surrounding the temple is lined with over 300 Lao-styled Buddhas of varying age, size, and material (e.g. wood, stone, or bronze).

The terrace walls are riddled with small niches, containing several thousand gilded or ceramic Buddhas. [NOTE: The temple was (mostly) spared by the armies of Siam when they sacked Ventiane in 1827].

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