Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Vientiane, Laos


Vientiane is the capital of Laos and it was our last stop in this country. While there are several impressive Buddhist temples here and some other neat sights (like the above pictured Arc de Triomphe replica), this will not stand out as my favorite part of Laos. When I think back on Laos, I will remember the natural beauty and humble people found in its small towns in the North, the humility and simplicity of the majority of its citizens. Vientiane seemed to spurn a lot of conversations between Bradford and I on the role of communism and it's efficacy in building a developed economy and country. The conclusion we came to? It is not very effective in developing a sustainable economy with happy citizens. 

Nevertheless, this city has some beautiful sights. Here are some pictures from our time in Vientiane. 

{We were treated to a gorgeous sunset on our first night. This temple provided the perfect foreground.}

{Pha That Luang (or 'great stupa') is regarded as Laos's national symbol.}



{There are several reclining buddhas in Southeast Asia, including the famous Wat Pho in Bangkok, but this one in Vientiane was my favorite.}



{In front of 'Patuxai', Vientiane's version of Arc de Triomphe}


{View of the city from the top of Patuxai}



{Wat Si Saket, the oldest standing temple in Vientiane}






{A view of Thailand from across the Mekong River}


{Presidential Palace with the national flag waving in front}


{That Dam, or 'black stupa'}






{We stumbled upon this Buddhist celebration at one of the temples visited -- kind of refreshing to see a temple actually filled with worshippers, for once.}


{A cool shot of the full moon on our last night there}

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