Boating down the Mekong


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Asia » Laos » South » Pakxe
January 30th 2007
Published: January 30th 2007
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Fragripani, National Tree of LaoFragripani, National Tree of LaoFragripani, National Tree of Lao

These lined the steps up the mountainside at Wat Phu
We spent the last 2 days @ Wat Phu. This place is amazing, & so ancient. The temple complex extends up a mountainside, & is over 1000 years old. They don't build 'em like that anymore. Festival in full swing. People come to make a pilgrimage & leave offerings at the temples. After that, its party time. Thai pop music is very popular here, & I guess that it dosent sound right unless played at FULL VOLUME for whatever the sound system can do. We went to the Temple site by long boat yesterday. Very relaxing & enjoyable trip in the morning. Also there was a textile exibit at the festival. They weave gorgeous silk & cotton fabrics all over Lao PDR. One of the provincial booths talked about recovery from the war. Laos had more bombs dropped on it than all of Europe during WWII. It averaged one plane load of bombs every 8 minitues for 9 years. We will be heading for the highlands, Bolovens Plateau, tomarrow by motorscooter, not much internet connection there.


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Heading to Wat Phu by BoatHeading to Wat Phu by Boat
Heading to Wat Phu by Boat

We went back a second day from Pakxe.
ferry on the  Mekong ferry on the  Mekong
ferry on the Mekong

This is the kind of Ferrys used to cross the river. There are people cooking soup & selling snacks on the ferrys!
TempleTemple
Temple

Perhaps you can tell, we loved Wat Phu. This is one of my favorite pictures.
on a terraceon a terrace
on a terrace

Sculptures could be found all up the mountainside
SanctuarySanctuary
Sanctuary

I don't claim to understand the religous meaning of these sculptures & other images. The devotion of the pilgrams at the festival was deeply heartfelt.
AncientAncient
Ancient

Ruins in the Foreground are thought to date from the 5th or 6th Centuries
Sanctuary againSanctuary again
Sanctuary again

The rear portion of the sanctuary is dated from the 5th or 6th centuary. The "newer" portion, from the 11th or 12th.
details from sanctuarydetails from sanctuary
details from sanctuary

The sanctuary is at the "summit" of Wat Phu. (but not the summit of the mountain). Above the sanctuary under a cliff is a holy spring.
inside the sanctuaryinside the sanctuary
inside the sanctuary

Wat Phu was converted from Hinduism to Buddhism along with most of the rest of Lao.
Heading back to PakxeHeading back to Pakxe
Heading back to Pakxe

We went back to Pakxe by truck & ferry


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