Thursday, August 7, 2008

Nosing around Namtha

Two of the younger residents at Namyang village show us their spirit houses
More from Luang Namtha in northwest Laos. I spent a couple of days in this ecotourism hub at the end of June and enjoyed some kayaking and cycling whilst I was there but didn't have enough time to do any trekking - thank god. And of course we visited some of the many ethnic villages to be found dotted around the rolling hillsides of the north. Officially there are 48 ethnic groups in Laos, the majority of which can be found in Luang Namtha province. One of the villages we stopped at was Namyang, high in the hills surrounding the town, where we found the locals unusually reserved. Alongwith my brother Tim, we poked our large falang (westerner) noses onto a couple of older wats near the airport and finished that day on a nearby hill at Tad Luang, where a new stupa is being constructed and which gives beautiful views over the provincial capital.
This is the quiet Akha village of Namyang, high in the Luang Namtha hills
We found the deforestation in the hills around Luang Namtha to be a worrying trend as more people move into the area
This wat is located near the airport, is called Ban Vieng Tai and was padlocked shut, with no-one in sight
I loved this sitting Buddha under a naga and surrounded by the undergrowth at the wat
As often depicted on wall paintings at wats, a scene from hell where sinners get their comeuppance
Not sure who these two falang are...
The large stupa under construction on the hill at Tad Luang, overlooking the town. This style of stupa can be seen all over Laos


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