Heaven

Oh. My. God.

Safely arrived in Luang Prabang, the ancient royal capital of Laos (the modern capital is Vientiane).

The plane

The plane

To say it is nice here is a bit of an understatement.

The outlying areas of Laos are relatively poor, but Luang Prabang is decidedly more up-market (in a kind of laid-back Laotian way).

Young monks

Young monks

Novice monks from the countryside come here to do their training. The town is littered with wats. The chanting in the evenings is sublime.

It’s heaven. A kind of laid-back, buddhist heaven. Like much of Asia, a mix of buddhism and communism that appears to mix relatively well.

I shared a mini-bus from the airport into town. Two of the guys I was talking to said they were going to Paradise. I think that was the name of the guesthouse where they were staying, but I took it as a good omen.

One of Luang Prabang's beautiful little side roads.

One of Luang Prabang’s beautiful little side roads.

I’m staying at the house of one of the old Laotian princes. Beautiful grounds, buddhist antiques, sun loungers and two swimming pools. Just a couple of days of relaxation here, before venturing out into the wilds of the north. Hill-tribe country.

Flags of Laos and the communist party

Flags of Laos and the communist party

There’s an elephant who lives opposite my hotel. He’s in a field with a big canopied hut, which he stands under during the heat of the day, idly scratching himself with a stick that he holds with his trunk.

Lonely elephant

Lonely elephant

Actually I say he, but he might be a she. I haven’t looked that closely yet. I feel a bit sorry for him/her. He must be lonely. Elephants are intelligent and social animals. Standing alone in a field all day must be mind-numbingly boring.

Flowery shop-front

Flowery shop-front

I’ll post a piece a bit later on the prince’s residence, Satri House.

2 thoughts on “Heaven

  1. As it happens Trevor, I spend most of my days standing in a field scratching myself with a turnip. I can assure you that it’s far from lonely or boring. Does this make me a Buddhist?

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