Maureen's Adventures in Asia travel blog

One Man's Strange Obsession - Buddha Park

Reclining Buddha

Heather and the Buddha

View of Reclining Buddha from inside the Giant Pumpkin

The Many Faces of BeerLao (but they all taste the same)

Tony and Nancy enjoy a Cold One

Hand of Buddha - Wat That Dam

The Buddha Graveyard

Vientaine - capital city of Laos - its as laid-back as the rest of this country. But there are a few strange aspects to the city:

Buddha Park - 23 km south of the city is one man's obsession with religion. Wat Xieng Khouang or Budda Park isn't really a Wat (temple) but a large park full of strange statues representing one man's belief (a combination of Hinduism, Buddhism and a few other religions).

Open Sewer Holes - The #1 hazard for tourists in Vientiane is stumbling into a open sewer hole. No really - I'm not kidding. Vientiane, capital of Laos is Asia's biggest village. Busy and hectic in comparison to the rest of the country, it is quiet compared with any other city in Asia (and possibly the world) It is a city full of surprises. Here you can find fields of rice and vegetables, hidden behind tree lined avenues. French Colonial architecture sits next to gilded temples. Freshly baked French bread is served next to shops selling noodle soup. There is little modern in Vientiane. Old French colonial houses are being restored as offices and as restaurants and hotels. There are only a handful of modern buildings which sometimes look remarkably out of place in this quiet capital. On Sunday, nothing was open, except for the occasional little street stall selling chips, cokes, and motor-oil.

Patuxai - "At the northeastern end of the LaneXang Ave arises a huge structure resembling the Arc de Triomphe. It is the Patuxay of Victory Gate of Vientiane, built in 1962, but never complete due to the country's turbulent history. From a closer distance, it appears even less impressive, like a monster of concrete". These aren't my words, this is quoted from the sign on the Patuxai. Story goes that after the war, the Americans left tons of cement, so the Lao people created the monument. The Lao people are very honest - it only resembles the Arc de Triomphe if taken at the correct angle, and without too much light!

Graveyard of Buddhas - Wat Sisaket

This temple features over 6,800 Budda images which are all ritually cleansed at the time of the Lao New Year. The temple was built in 1818 and is the oldest surviving temple in Vientiane (the Thai army destroyed most temples during the Siam War). One of the neatest parts of the Wat is what I call the Graveyard. Thousands of Buddha statues were partially destroyed during the various wars (Siam, Vietnam, etc.). During excavations, these statues were discovered, and placed at Wat Sisaket - spooky, but neat

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