Visit to Laos

I have recent­ly returned from a two-week trip to Laos, where I trav­elled with my father and step-moth­er. We start­ed in the North, at Huay Xai, then trav­elled by boat down the Mekong to Luang Pra­bang, and final­ly spent a cou­ple of days in Vien­tiane. Although I had spent almost three years as a monk liv­ing by the Mekong Riv­er, in Ubon Rajathani, and had looked over each morn­ing at the forest­ed hills of Laos, this was my first vis­it there. I was espe­cial­ly inter­est­ed in get­ting a sense of how Bud­dhism is sur­viv­ing in this ‘com­mu­nist sin­gle-par­ty social­ist repub­lic.’ On the whole I was delight­ed by my visit—by the encoun­ters with Laot­ian peo­ple, by the beau­ty of the land­scape, and by the appar­ent vital­i­ty of Bud­dhism in this land. Fol­low­ing are a few pho­tos I took, which pro­vide a feel­ing of this unique coun­try.

Monk's robe hanging at Wat Pa Phai, Luang Prabang

Monk’s Robe at Wat Pah Phai, Luang Pra­bang

Monks at Wat Pa Phai, Luang Prabang

Monks at Wat Pah Phai, Luang Pra­bang

 

Wall Painting at Wat Pa Houak, Luang Prabang

Wall Paint­ing at Wat Pah Houak, Luang Pra­bang

 

Wall Painting of Three Women at Wat Pa Houak, Luang Prabang

Wall Paint­ing of Three Women at Wat Pa Houak, Luang Pra­bang

 

Novices at a Meditation Retreat at Wat Pa Phon Pao, Laos

Novices at a Med­i­ta­tion Retreat at Wat Pah Phon Pao

 

Wat Xieng Thong, Luang Prabang

Wat Xieng Thong, Luang Pra­bang

 

Reclining Buddha Shrine in the Red Chapel, Wat Xieng Thong, Luang Prabang

Reclin­ing Bud­dha Shrine in the Red Chapel, Wat Xieng Thong, Luang Pra­bang

 

Haw Pha Bang, Luang Prabang

Haw Phra Bang, Luang Pra­bang

 

Novice Monk at Wat Sensoikharam, Luang Prabang

Novice Monk at Wat Sen­soikharam, Luang Pra­bang

 

Buddha Rupa at Wat Sisaket, Vientiane

Bud­dha Rupa at Wat Sisaket, Vien­tiane

Smiling Buddha at Wat Sisaket, Vientiane

Smil­ing Bud­dha at Wat Sisaket, Vien­tiane

 

Buddha Rupa at Wat Sisaket, Vientiane

Bud­dha Rupa at Wat Sisaket, Vien­tiane

Entrance to Wat Sisaket, Vientiane

Entrance to Wat Sisaket, Vien­tiane

 

Back Entrance to the Cloisters at Wat Sisaket, Vientiane

Back Entrance to the Clois­ters at Wat Sisaket, Vien­tiane

 

Gable Roof at Wat Sisaket, Vientiane

Gable Roof at Wat Sisaket, Vien­tiane

Novice Monk at Wat Sisaket, Vientiane

Novice Monk at Wat Sisaket, Vien­tiane

 

Naga Balustrade at Haw Pha Kaew, Vientiane

Naga Balustrade at Haw Phra Kaew, Vien­tiane

 

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