4/9 – Today we cruised around some wats. Vientiane is home to over 80 Buddhist temples or wats, many serving as home to orange-clad monks.
Some are old, and many are new and brightly painted. Here’s a fellow guarding the entrance to the wat across from our hotel.
There are lots of creatures guarding the wats.
Some intricately carved tree roots being preserved at a temple under renovation.
Lots of stupas, or shrines, some with photos identifying who is being commemorated.
Lots and lots of Buddhas. The mudra with one hand on lap and one hand touching down is Calling the Earth to Witness the Truth.
Some of the traveler blogs we read talk about experiencing “temple fatigue” in this part of Asia, so we don’t try to see every one. We spot the Presidential Palace – tourists not welcome here.
Here’s a statue of King Anouvong, who lost the kingdom of Ventiane to the Siamese in the 1820s. Even though he lost, he is revered, and candles are lit and offerings left at the base of the statue.
In an example of quirky urban planning, his back is toward a beautiful park where people sit, and he faces an empty field. Perhaps something grand is planned for the field in the future.