Monday, September 1, 2008

Going south

It's all smiles for our rice paddy visit near Pak Kading
I've already brought you some of the field photos we took on our trip south from Vientiane, as we headed for Savannakhet, some 450 kms away. However, here are some more. These girls were in a rice paddy between Paksan and Pak Kading and were great fun, led by the ever-smiling Chan and despite some initial shyness, they gladly posed for a team photo with Tim and myself. Other stops along the route included Wat Phabat Phonsane, revered for its golden Buddha footprint that was discovered in 1933, with its ornamental stupa and reclining Buddha; the view of the jagged limestone pinnacles from the sala viewpoint at the top of Phou Pha Mane, the highest peak in the Hin Boun conservation area; the French colonial architecture in the sleepy town of Tha Khaek; and the venerated stupa of Pha That Sikhottabong, some 6kms outside of town. In a peaceful spot on the banks of the Mekong River, the stupa was renovated by King Setthathirat and has some ancient Khmer naga antifixes if you look hard enough.
The ornamented stupa at Wat Phabat Phonsane, with its revered golden Buddha footprint
Wat Phabat Phonsane also has a large reclining Buddha on display
Here's a team photo of our rice paddy friends, with the leader Chan on the far right
It was rice planting time during our trip, hence the hordes of women in the fields
The jagged limestone peaks from the Hin Boun sala viewpoint
Both Chinese and French architecture prevail in Tha Khaek
Here's some of the French colonial architecture on show
Looking through the door of the main sim, this is the stupa at Wat Pha That Sikhottabong


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