Categories
TRAVEL

March Sunset Bike Ride through Luang Prabang 🚲

The town isn’t that big, but I don’t like walking around when it’s hot. Most people like to come out at sunset to socialize, ride bikes, play football, take pictures, or just walk around and enjoy the beautiful sites. I took all of these videos today using my Samsung Phone and edited them with the free Android App, Movie Maker. Maybe they changed their app name to Best Movie since that’s the watermark they added to the video. The free version only lets you share videos at 720p. Lao New Year is only a month away. There will be many people wearing traditional clothing, drinking beer, and splashing water on each other. I’ll most likely get a swim in the river and some video like last year. If you visit here, I recommend renting a bicycle if you only plan to stay in town. I’ve seen too many tourists wreck their bikes, have them stolen, or get shaken down by the cops to recommend renting one. I’ve never seen anyone get in trouble for riding a bicycle. Thanks for checking out my video today. I hope you enjoyed it. Have a happy March!

Categories
TRAVEL

Ancient Temples of Luang Prabang

Some of the temples in Laos are over 700 years old. They were most likely places of worship even longer than that. There also are these giant jars that are thousands of years old and no one has any idea who made them, how, or why. The locals have stories that they were used for brewing beer by giants.

There are so many temples in Luang Prabang that you could live here for years and not see them all.

There are famous temples where tour guides will take you, but there are also many hidden gems no one has ever publicly photographed or can be found on the internet.

These gargoyles represent the story of Buddha’s enlightenment. While he was meditating, a large serpent wrapped around and protected him from the rain. Even though they are mostly Buddhist here, there are still signs of Hinduism in the designs of the statues.

You will often see sticky rice in the mouths of the gargoyles as an offering and thanks for their protection.

If you ever get lost in Luang Prabang, look up and you’ll see the golden Phousi pagoda. There are many ways to hike up with great viewpoints and Buddhas to see. The whole town worked together to lift the construction materials needed by working together as a bucket brigade or human chain.

I captured this shot at sunset at Xiengthong Temple which was built in the 1500s. I imagine that way back then there were fewer distractions so they maintained the flowers and buildings even better than they do today.

This is a cemetery for Vietnamese who’ve passed away here. Since some of them were Christian, they were buried. Buddhists usually cremate their dead, but will sometimes have some small shrine with their picture containing their ashes here. I don’t think a lot of people ever visit this place because it’s at the edge of town and is creepy in a haunted way.

My friends always want to meet for lunch at noon or one which I’m always reluctant to do because of the heat at that time of the day, but it’s great for getting bright shots like this. I have no idea the name or location of this temple, I just saw it out of the corner of my eye while riding down a random road.

This would make for a cool animated GIF NFT work of art. I would have energy flow from the roots up and out of the leaves then blessing all creatures around it. If you steal this picture and my idea you have Buddha’s blessing, I’ll be very happy for you too. I’d love to see it, but I don’t know how to make it. I can’t wait until we can just scan our thoughts then create NFT works of art in seconds. It will be so fun for artistic-minded, but not tech-savvy people.

Thank you for exploring these historic temples with me today. I took these over the course of a year using cheap Samsung phones, but good lighting. If you’ve never visited Luang Prabang, it’s in the center of Laos. It was the capital before 1975. It is under UNESCO protection so it won’t change. It’s very likely you could wait twenty years before you came here and found your pictures resemble mine. There is a good vibe and cool weather a third of the time while it will be hot or raining the rest of the year. Most food is delicious, organic, and cheap. Hopefully, you get the chance to visit one day.

Categories
LIFE TV

Amend: The Fight for America

The Union may have won the military victory during the Civil War, but racist southerners won the cultural war. Even after a hundred years since the 14th Amendment became law, many Americans had to fight for their right to be seen as equal by their states and the federal government. Amend: The Fight for America shares the stories of the many Americans who stood for and even died for equality.

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Netflix

Fredrick Douglass

At first, I was thrown off by the actor who was quoting Fredrick Douglass because he looks nothing like him but, then there was Pedro Pascal as Abraham Lincoln and other Hollywood stars quoting people of different ages, sex, and race. Samuel L. Jackson portrayed Martin Luther King Jr. well, but at no point did he say, “I’m sick of these motherfucking racists on this motherfucking continent!”

Fredrick Douglass is remembered as the greatest speaker of the 19th century. He could give a speech to a huge crowd and change their hearts and opinions with his amazing words. He will always be remembered as an early champion for civil rights, but I don’t think most people realize what a bad-ass he was. One day, while his master, who was also most likely his father, was giving young Douglass a beating. He decided then and there that he wasn’t going to take it anymore! While Maryland and his master viewed him as property, he was in fact a free man! He then beat the shit out of his master and told him that if the other slaves found out about it that he would lose face, so they’d both never speak of it again. He ran away and published his book which would only put a huge target on his back for southern slave catchers. He even tried to get a commission as an officer in the Union Army which the president was in favor of, but the army would not allow.

Heavy Weight Champion

How would you feel if you won the belt for the UFC heavyweight, but Dana White told you that you are in fact the champion, but your prize money and belt would actually go to the loser? Well, that’s what happened after the Civil War. The 14th Amendment had passed and slavery was outlawed but terrorist groups like the KKK, racist politicians, and a corrupt Supreme Court made it a worthless gesture. It wasn’t until Martin Luther King Jr. and his brilliant strategy of non-violent disobedience helped to end Jim Crow. If I had a time machine, I’d really love to take Will Smith, the main narrator of the series, and Martin Luther King Jr. back in time to meet Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. They would have a lot to talk about and it would make for the most epic podcast of all time.

Equality for All

This Netflix original series doesn’t just focus on the struggle of black Americans, but all Americans who had to fight for their rights. It begins with the Civil War and leads all the way up to the present day. There are some people, that sadly, I’d never heard of until watching this documentary six-part series. It doesn’t matter what religion, sex, race, or orientation you are because the United States Constitution gives you unalienable rights even if you are NOT a citizen. It’s important that we know our rights and the heroes who gave everything to make our rights a reality. History and Civics teachers will be assigning Amend: The Fight for America to their students as required viewing for many years to come.