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Luang Prabang: The secret gem of Asia

I’ve been to about twenty countries, but Luang Prabang, Laos is my favorite spot so far. I’ve been lucky enough to call it home for the last four years and I’d like to share my best photos of it with you today.

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Even though it’s a small town it has a very diverse amount of visitors. I’ve met tourists from almost every country, even ones I’ve never heard of before. They love watching Thai shows and listening to Thai music and Lao is very similar to Thai so they can understand Thai, but most people can speak English. Laos was once a French colony so some people can speak French. A lot of people can speak Chinese as well.

Vietnam

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Not a lot of people have heard or know about Luang Prabang or even the country of Laos, but everyone knows Vietnam which is next door. Laos is a landlocked country that also borders Cambodia, Thailand, Burma, and China. It’s about a 45-minute flight from Bangkok, but you can also take their new high-speed train from China or Thailand.

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When my old Navy buddy invited me to visit him in Hanoi, Vietnam, I had to take him up on the offer so we could talk about our time in Vietnam when we are old men. These guys invited us to drink beers with them. They were some of the best beer drinkers I’ve ever met. When they’d pour a drink they’d always say, “Gombai”, which means buttons up. When I puked in the street and said, “No more Gombai”, they all laughed heartily.

Kuang Si Waterfall

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The first thing we did after arriving in Luang Prabang was visit this fantastic waterfall. If the Garden of Eden were real I imagine it would look a lot like Kuang Si. I recently made a HIVE post and a Youtube video about it.

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I’ve spent most of my life as a teacher but realized how much I like working in hospitality after I got a job at Pullman Hotel. It’s an expensive five-star hotel on the way to the waterfall, but there are also many nice guest houses in town that will only cost about $10 a night.

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Temples and the King’s House

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This beautiful house that looks like a temple was once the king’s home but is a museum today.

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You can’t miss Phousi because it’s on top of a hill downtown and can be seen from almost anywhere in Luang Prabang. It also serves as a good marker if you get lost.

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La Pistoche Pool and Bar is a great place to bring the kids, have some food and drinks, or just get out of the sun.

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They take a lot of pride in their local beer, Beerlao, and rightfully so because it tastes great and usually costs less than a dollar.

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Thanks for checking out Luang Prabang today. If you are planning on visiting South East Asia it’s really worth a visit.

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Another day in Paradise at Kuang Si Waterfall:
https://peakd.com/hive-184437/@jeremiahcustis/another-day-in-paradise-at-kuang-si-waterfall

Kuang Si Waterfall:
https://www.tourismluangprabang.org/things-to-do/nature/kuang-si-waterfall/

Pullman Hotel:
https://www.pullman-luangprabang.com/

La Pistoche Pool and Bar:
https://lapistochepool.wordpress.com/

To the top with a confident Mr. Wolf

The first time we took our dog, Rapper, to the top of Mt. Phousi he was a scared little puppy, but this time he led the way like a boss. We take him everywhere with us.

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Buddhist countries like Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos like to buy homemade good luck offerings for the monks. Since we had to carry them to the top I didn’t think we should’ve bought these in town, but mom’s the boss.

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It’s a little hard to see in this picture, but if you look at the very center you can see the top of Phousi.

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There are many ways to the top, but I prefer taking the steps by a large temple in town which is the fastest way up. Rapper kept looking back wondering why we didn’t run up the steps like he did.

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Almost to the top now. I really like this spot where you can pray to Buddha and get your fortune by shaking a large bamboo cup full of chopsticks with numbers on them. The first one that falls out is your fortune; you can take the paper with your fortune.

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Let me know if I got this legend wrong, but I think these statues represent an ancient Hindu belief that a mighty Naga sea creature came out of the river and married the most beautiful woman who was a goddess of life and fertility.

Buddhas along the way…

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They have a different Buddha for each day of the week and various appearances. Some are young, some are old, some are fat, and some are lazily taking a nap.

At the top

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Once you make it to the top you can enjoy a 360 view of the whole town.

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I don’t remember at how many months Rapper went from a terrified little puppy to a security guard, but I’m happy to see he’s socialized well and is a confident little guy.

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See? I told you we could buy this stuff at the top!

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The best time to take pictures is early in the morning or right before sunset, but we went at noon when it was hottest for some reason.

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I like taking pictures of people taking pictures.

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Rapper hates being told what to do. Teenagers like to roll their eyes at mom and dad, but Rapper yawns to show his annoyance with us. Does your dog do the same?

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I love ringing these old bells at the temples. I’ll give em a hard smack for the loudest sound. I think you’re supposed to do it three times.

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Stay hydrated baby.

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I hate how other dog lovers are always taking pictures of their dogs’ asses, but this one captured Rapper’s leadership both up and down the hike well.

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Are you coming, dad?

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Thank you for reading about another great hike up to Phousi in Luang Prabang, Laos with us today. Have a great day and may the Buddha be with you.

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The Sacred Unicorn – SPLINTERLANDS art contest #188

Hello everybody. Today I’m happy to share with ya’ll my entry for this week’s Splinterlands art contest of the Sacred Unicorn. I usually participate in the Splinterlands weekly battle challenge, but I was inspired to do some drawing this week too.

I’ve been stuck in the country of Laos 🇱🇦 (It’s next to Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and China.) since one day after my 40th birthday on March 27th, 2020. I had just applied for my work visa when they shut everything down. They said it would be for just two weeks, then two months, now it’s been over two years.

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I live in the wonderful town of Luang Prabang which is a UNESCO world heritage site so I don’t have any complaints, but I’ve also been unemployed for quite a while. I was a teacher for a long time, but I started working at a hotel in 2018 and I decided that hospitality was what I wanted to do, then BOOM, Covid-19 came along. I was in the military when I was young, but I got out in 2015 so my GI Bill benefits expired a while ago, but I saw an email from the VA (The Veterans’ Administration) that I could get some job retraining so I took them up on their offer. Most of the jobs were for things like hospital work, welding, truck driving, and other technical jobs, but I noticed that they had a certificate in digital illustration so I chose that.

Most of my classes were about Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. I felt that my teachers were just shills for Adobe and for buying a MacBook. Since Laos went lockdown crazy, I couldn’t find a new computer if I wanted to. I also only had an income of $285 for my disability compensation from the VA, so there was no chance in hell I was ever going to afford a brand new computer anyways. It took me a while, but I figured out how to get both programs to work on Linux on my piece of junk old PC with a little help from the Pirate Bay. I wouldn’t recommend it though. It was a total pain in the neck and I could only get 2012 or 2015 versions to work. Overall, I feel disappointed in my learning experience. Online classes just plain suck. I need to be IN the classroom. I need to be able to raise my hand and ask the teacher for help. I will NEVER take an online course as long as I live.

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One thing I did find useful from my course was my teacher saying that most digital artists still use good old paper and pencil to get started and then scan to Photoshop so that’s what I did. Since the whole NFT market is crashing I wanted to make fun of some of the other NFT projects I have tried but didn’t care for like CryptoKittiesAxie Infinity, or NBA Top Shot.

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The Sacred Unicorn may no longer be the best card for using in Life battles, but it’s still my favorite card so I thought I’d do a few rough sketches and see how it went, but I was happy with the first try and just kept on going with it…

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I felt it was time to move from pencil to Photoshop so I added my pencil drawing to my wall of inspiration. If I ever become a famous NFT artist, I’ll mail someone the original pencil drawings. (That’s a big IF right?)

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I went to Pexels and did a search for: SKY BACKGROUND and really liked the photo by Oleg Magni. I later got so frustrated with Photoshop that I gave up, quit, and decided it just wasn’t going to work out. I really miss my iPad and the wonderful program of ProCreate so I did a Google search for an alternative and came up with SketchBook. It took me all week to get used to it and to draw the Sacred Unicorn but I absolutely love SketchBook now.

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Another problem I had was that NOBODY in Luang Prabang sells or has even heard of a stylus so I had to make my own. You can read my post: DIY: Make your own STYLUS pen at home if you want or need to do the same.

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Now that I had my trusty DIY stylus and a good digital art program it was time to get crackin. I tried making the NBA ball in Photoshop, then in Illustrator, then in the Linux versions of Gimp and Inkscape but found it too difficult. The only thing I did with Photoshop was put the pencil drawing over the background image, but if I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t have used Photoshop at all and just saved the background image as exactly that in the layers menu in SketchBook. I could probably draw this whole picture all over again in a day if I had to re-do it, but I had fun drawing it which is something I haven’t felt in a long time and I also learned a lot from my mistakes so it’s all good.

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If I had been better at using layers, I would have had a much easier time doing this, but I’ll do my next drawing much faster and smarter.

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I absolutely love the predictive stroke tool in SketchBook and how you can adjust the level of AI-assisted drawing from 1 to 5. It was a better experience than using either Photoshop or Procreate in my opinion.Sacred Unicorn (1).png

Here is the original Sacred Unicorn image from Splinterlands. I used the eye drop tool and the undo tool about a million times. I used the eye drop tool to get the colors right from the kitty, axie, and unicorn, but I’m proud to have drawn this image myself without any tracing. I used to just put an A4 piece of paper over the original Splinterlands art, do a rough trace, then pencil and ink my drawing. Although it is good practice for getting your shading and inking down, it’s still cheating, right? Thanks for reading about my original drawing today. I’m looking forward to doing another sketch. Which Splinterlands card should I use for inspiration next?

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Get in the game!

Our Private and Enchanting Hike up Phousi

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There are many ways up the hill called Phousi Mountain, but we decided to park at Miniso so I could grab some water because Wan’s strawberry shake was a bit too sweet and it’s always good to hydrate before exercising. Do you have a Miniso where you live? Here in Luang Prabang, it’s the only chain store that exists and it’s also the only place to buy anything of some quality. Since Luang Prabang is a UNESCO World Heritage Site there are many rules protecting the historical look. Their goal is to keep the mix of French colonial and Lao architecture look which means new construction is almost impossible. Buildings can not be over two stories and most corporations are kept out. This means there isn’t any 7-11, Mickey-Ds, KFC, or any other corporate crap. It’s kind of like being in Westworld. I’m not sure how Miniso got past the rules, but they are a great shop so I’m glad they did.

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Stop!

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At first, we went up the wrong steps. It led to the monks’ quarters.

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There were these three buddhas sitting together, but not a path up the hill unless you are willing to climb over the wall and hike up the dirt path which Wan and Rapper weren’t willing to do.

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Other than a few monks, we were the only people going up the hill on this beautiful day. It’s possible to come here and be alone in the middle of the night, but I doubt there will ever be another opportunity to have a private hike like this ever again unless there is another pandemic or World War.

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The steps up to Phousi are behind this temple. There are many signs leading the way. There are a few ways to the top, but most people will go this way.

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Buddha’s Footprint

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Local legend claims that this is the footprint of a giant. Wan told me that the monks pray to keep the giant in check and from destroying the town, but I doubt some young boys in orange robes are going to be much of a match for a giant. If there really was a giant and I saw it, I would try to be his friend, but I’ve never seen anything to convince me that giants were ever real. Maybe there were some freakishly tall people back in the day, but where are the bones? I think they just heated up some steal in the shape of a foot to melt this volcanic rock back in the day to scare bad people away.

Wan told me that the giants are not actually physical beings, but supernatural. They are demons that will possess and curse people. That is why the monks are always beating on the drums. It keeps the giant inside the mountain and from hurting anybody. It’s like how the Jedi temple was constructed on top of an ancient Sith temple in Coruscant suppressing the dark side.

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Another thing you will see a lot of in Laos and Thailand is the Naga. He was half serpent half-man who lived in the river and came out only to marry a most beautiful woman. This legend is older than Buddhism itself and I can’t help but wonder if it was passed down way back during the Egyptian times.

There are also legends of the Cam people. That is where Cambodia got its name. They were black people with advanced technology that came here a long time ago. They sure sound like Egyptians to me. Luang Prabang is a truly beautiful place with lovely weather. If there was an advanced ancient civilization back in the day, they surely vacationed here as well.

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We took all of these pictures with my Samsung Galaxy A12. I wonder how many DSLR cameras are getting sold today now that almost similar results can be captured on cheap phones. I’m proud of the beautiful pictures we took but most proud of getting good ones of Rapper here. Puppies are almost impossible to take pictures of because they never stay still, but you should do your best because they only stay this cute for a very short time.

Pray for Good Luck and Fortune

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When you pray at a Buddhist temple you will sometimes see this cup full of chopsticks with numbers on them. Shake it until one falls out to reveal your fortune.

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I got number 13, so I found the fortune for my number in the box.

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It says:

Number thirteen is lucky. If you desire anything, you will be able to manifest it into reality. An elder will bring you happiness and fortune, but you will have a bit of suffering in your heart. You will have good karma. Your life will be comfortable. If you have a child it will be a boy. You will have an easy time your whole life.

I always pray that today will be the day that our Earth finally makes contact with benevolent extra-terrestrial life that shares their technology with us ending our wars, politics, and capitalism, but I’ll take what fortune Buddha has given me. Wan didn’t want to shake the cup of fortune for some reason.

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At the Top

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This is where most people will take their photos from. Since we were alone, I put my phone up here, put it on a ten-second timer delay, and ran back to take a selfie with Wan and Rapper.

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Back Down

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Rapper took a little protest nap not realizing that the journey is only halfway complete. After some rest and a bit of water, he was ready to go down all the steps.

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Thank you for reading about our puppy’s first hike up Phousi Mountain in Luang Prabang, Laos today. May you avoid any giants or bad luck and have a wonderful day.

Our Wednesday Walk around town in Luang Prabang

This horrible pandemic bullshit is finally coming to an end. Can you feel it? For the already mega-rich billionaires and tech companies, it was a dream come true. I’m not one of them, but I must admit, I enjoyed the whole staying at home playing Splinterlands and watching Jocko Podcast all-day thing. Maybe I’m a bit agoraphobic. I enjoy being an introvert, but I miss my extrovert life too. I doubt few people in the whole world were as lucky as me during Covid because I’ve been stuck in the wonderful town of Luang Prabang, Laos. Winter has come and it was a beautiful day so my girlfriend Wan and I ditched her motorcycle and went for a good old-fashioned walk around town today. I really like this old red car, but have never seen anything like it before. Do you know what kind of car it is?

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I started our walk with a dark Beer Lao while Wan went for the original Beer Lao. Laos has some of the best things in the world in my opinion. I find the women to be the kindest and most beautiful and I’ve been to America, Mexico, Canada, Korea, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, South Africa, Burma, and Cambodia. The food is definitely my favorite and the weather is great all year except for the few months it rains all day. The beer is also my favorite in the world and it only costs $1 for a big bottle.

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A nice breakfast at my friend’s guest house and restaurant ain’t a bad way to start the day. I really feel bad for all the restaurants around the world. They provide such a great service for us all but have all been hit so hard by this pandemic. When are we going to have a global crisis that ruins all the lawyers’, bankers’, and politicians’ lives?

Xiengtong Temple

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Usually, you have to pay the monks to enter here, but now that things have shut down into ghost-town-land, it’s been free every time. It’s interesting visiting spots that have been places of worship since before your own country was a nation. Ancient kings were crowned and married here in the past. I imagine there are many spirits roaming around this holy and ancient place.

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We came here to pray for my dying dog Spot.

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He was such a cute and sweet boy, but he sadly didn’t make it. There was nothing the vet could do for him. I believe he died of Covid because he had all the symptoms and went from strong and healthy to dead in just three days. Only God and Dr. Fauci know what really happened. I feel like he must have been an angel because he led me to find the sweetest girl I’ve ever met and brought so much joy to my life when I was in a very dark place. I hope that he is in heaven relaxing on an air-conditioned cloud full of pizzas.

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This was the king’s house before 1975 when the Americans pulled out of South East Asia and the communist took control of everything. They moved the capital of Laos from Luang Prabang to the southern city of Vientiane. They gave the king a wonderful job in a labor camp, but at least they preserved his house. It is a museum today and you can check it out if you ever visit.

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This bridge is a total piece of junk. If you ever cross over it on a motorcycle you will know true fear. It’s got wood for pavement. There are also two pedestrian paths on either side that are even scarier because the wood looks old as hell and it’s a long dropdown. I’ve jumped off the bridge into the water before so you won’t die as long as you hit the water where it’s deep if you do fall.

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It was about 16:00 so we went to Big Tree Cafe for dinner. Most Asian locations are total noobs when it comes to cooking western food like Spaghetti, but Luang Prabang used to be a French colony so they can cook it pretty well in most locations.

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The Mekong River is so beautiful. I hope the god-damned Chinese don’t screw it up like they do everything else with their hydroelectric dams.

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Thank you for reading about our Wednesday walk today. I hope you have a wonderful day and the chance to visit Luang Prabang one day. God bless you and my dead dog Spot and may the CCP burn in hell!

Paintings from Luang Prabang, Laos

If you ever visit Luang Prabang, Laos I recommend Lexaku Art Gallery by the intersection across from Dara Market. It’s also next to Chaleunphone Restaurant which serves the best-tasting food for the price.

ถ้าคุณมีโอกาสเยี่ยม ຫຼວງພະບາງ ฉันแนะนำ Lexaku Art Gallery มันอยู่ที่สี่แยกตรงกันข้ามกับตลาดดาราและติดกับร้านอาหารโปรดของฉัน Chaleunphone Restaurant

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Each painting sells for about $300 and captures the beauty of the local traditions and lifestyle of Luang Prabang.

ภาพขายได้ในราคาประมาณ 300 เหรียญสหรัฐฯ และแสดงความงามของประเพณีและวิถีชีวิตของหลวงพระบาง

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Here is the entrance. There are many more paintings to admire. These are just the ones we liked or could get a good shot of without too much reflection. The staff is friendly, speaks English, and won’t mind if you take pictures of every painting in the gallery.

ส่วนนี้คือหน้าร้าน Lexaku Art Gallery มีรูปวาดที่สวยมากพนักงานสามารถพูดภาษาอังกฤษได้และเขาไม่ได้ว่าอะไรถ้าเราจะถ่ายรูป

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This is a lovely painting of the sunset behind the Mekong River, but it also reminds me of Mount Doom from Lord of the Rings.

ฉันชอบรูปภาพที่มีพระอาทิตย์ตกที่แม่น้ำโขงแต่มันทำให้ฉันนึกถึง Mount Doom ของ Lord of the Rings ด้วย

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This painting looks like a road you might see in Zelda or Genshin Impact.

รูปนี้ดูเหมือนเล่นเกม Zelda และ Genshin Impact

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This Hmong lady looks, boss. She’s probably wondering why the farmers above aren’t working harder and who’s going to get her more to smoke.

ผู้หญิง ມົ້ງ คนนี้หน้าเหมือนเขาเป็นหัวหน้าและเขาคงสงสัยทำไมพวกชาวนาขี้เกียจจังและใครจะซื้อยาสูบให้เขาอีก

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There were many horses back in the day when they were used for transportation and Calverley, but I can’t remember the last time I saw one. Have you ever ridden a horse?

ในสมัยก่อนมีม้าหลายตัวที่ใช้สำหรับการขนส่งและคัลเวอร์ลีย์แต่ฉันจำไม่ได้ว่าครั้งสุดท้ายที่เห็นตัวม้าเป็นเมื่อไหร่คุณเคยขี่ม้าไหม

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You can wake up and give an offering to the monks every morning at 5 am.

เราตื่นแต่เช้าในทุกวันเพื่อใส่บาตร

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I saved my favorite painting for last. I love how this painting captures the look of wisdom on this young monk’s face. Thank you for checking out Lexaku Art Gallery in Luang Prabang with me today.

ฉันชอบรูปนี้ที่สุดเพราะว่าเณรองค์นี้ดูเหมือนอายุน้อยแต่เป็นคนที่มีความรู้เยอะขอบใจที่ดู Lexaku Art Gallery กับฉันวันนี้ในหลวงพระบาง

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Lexaku’s Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/L%C3%A9-Xa-Ku/100212968704571

Lao Phone:
+8562077772129

Big Tree Cafe by the Mekong River in Luang Prabang

This is a great place for coffee, food, hanging out with friends, or having a meeting. It is located along the Mekong River in Ban Vat Nong on the peninsula of the heritage part of Luang Prabang, Laos.

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It’s another beautiful day in Luang Prabang and another opportunity to explore a new restaurant. While riding around town today, I decided to post about a cute little restaurant and cafe that I’ve always passed by, but never entered for some reason. That was a mistake because I missed out on years of great meals and atmosphere with wonderful local art.

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Even though I’ve had the pleasure of living in Luang Prabang for over three years now, I can still get lost and discover its hidden gems. Maybe it’s because of all of the green vegetation or maybe it’s the lack of recognizable street names, but I always feel like I’m stuck in one of those hard to escape haunted forests you’d find in the Zelda video games. Big Tree Cafe & Restaurant is on the same side of the river as this famous temple, just farther down the street.

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This time I’ll park my bike and actually go inside for a change. I don’t know why Treks don’t usually have a kickstand. Maybe it seems childish to some riders, but I miss having one. It’ll just get stolen eventually, so there’s no use in adjusting it or getting attached to it. It was hot so getting some shade and good food was just what I needed.

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Keng, the restaurant manager, was friendly, spoke English well, and was nice enough to pose for this picture at the entrance.

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I was the only customer, but I can’t complain. It gave me the opportunity to look around at the lovely local art on display.

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The owner of Big Tree is Korean so they have Korean food down and their Lao and western food are some of the best in town, but not too pricy. I feel the choice of green paint and colorful birds, as well as funny meme signs, are an effective good mood generator.

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Plumeria or frangipani is a beautiful fragment flowering tree I see a lot of here in Luang Prabang. I don’t know enough about plants to know if this is a native plant here or if it was imported back in the day when this was a French colony.

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There are so many NFT artists and dealers making a killing these days. Most of it is very Photoshop-looking. I wonder how well this unique Siamese art would work out? At least it’s something new and fresh injected into the world of NFTs. I really haven’t figured out how to get started with the NFT world. It seems most sites require you to be an artistic star on Instagram before they let you in.

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I really enjoyed my Luang Prabang salad, Dark Beerlao, and the complimentary water. The salad dressing was so tasty that I added a whole new bowl halfway.

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I’m pleased to see that Food Panda, the delivery service here, has Big Tree Cafe. I’ll surely be ordering more breakfast, lunch,

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And spaghetti. Thank you for reading. If you get the chance to visit I hope you drop by. Have a great day!
Big Tree Cafe
67 Ban Vat Nong
Luang Prabang, Laos
https://www.bigtreecafe.net/

Spot’s first walk around Luang Prabang

I didn’t plan on falling in love with Spot, but he’s my best friend now. He follows me around everywhere. He’ll scratch at my door to let him in every night and gets really jealous if I give affection or food to his sister or any of the other dogs at my apartment.

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The first couple of days we went on a walk it was just Spot and I. Now it seems all of the dogs in the neighborhood follow us around. There’s an ATM across the street where I live. There was this old man with the scariest-looking eyes I’ve ever seen and two of his young punk-looking friends who seemed like they were about to jump me when I got some cash out at 1 am. When I did my best dog bark, all of the dogs in the neighborhood came running to me and surrounded me. At first, they looked at me like a dumb white boy they were about to rip off, but when all my dog friends showed up, they just smiled and went away.

Spot found this bug. At first, I thought it was a child’s toy. Then I thought it was like a royal cockroach or something. I think it’s some type of wood beetle. I don’t know, but it looks cool. Do you know what it is?

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Spot followed me around town for about 10 km. He was very good about staying on the sidewalk and not running into the street, but I did have to carry him across a few intersections.

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Spot likes temples. He’ll lead the way in, look around a bit, then leave. Maybe he was a Buddhist in his last life.

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I gave him plenty of water along the way, but at one point he just wouldn’t have it anymore. He laid down near a bank to cool down in the shade and close to the cool air-conditioned air blowing out the door.

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I remember when I was a kid it seemed like everybody had these old World War II Army jeeps. This one is US Army, USMC, and Laos. Is this even a US Army version? It looks a little off to me. I think it’s a Russian or Chinese version but painted like an American one. They still look cool today. Imagine how cool they looked back in World War II.

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This is Mano Temple about halfway to the center of downtown Luang Prabang.

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One of the things I’ve loved about living here is that for all of 2020 and until now, nothing was shut down. They didn’t bother with restrictions except for closing down the borders, but recently everyone’s gone paranoid. All the restaurants and dance clubs are shut down because an American and Korean have died of the virus.

I love the bamboo barricades they’ve all put up here to protect their neighborhoods. It reminds me of when I was a 10-year-old boy with a fort in the woods and a sign that said, “No girls allowed!”

I was a hotel manager before the virus came. Now I’m just a Hive blogger and the guy who hangs out with the dogs all day. It’s sad to see these nice hotels being neglected like this. A lot of my friends who worked at the hotel with me are now delivery drivers. I can’t wait for this stupid virus to end and the world to come back to normal.

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The first bath we took together Spot was acting like it was the greatest injustice in the universe. Whenever you give a dog a bath you have to be very careful never to get the shampoo or water in their eyes or nose or they’ll have a very bad experience and won’t ever want to take a bath again. Now he will stand up on the toilet and let me shampoo him without moving. I just have to say the same thing several times. “Don’t move!”

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Why do dogs love getting up on the bed? I don’t like him doing this because he is a tick magnet. Can you see the guilty look on his face? I feel sorry for Spot because it’s so hot outside, so I’ll let him stay in the room to enjoy the cool air while I’ll walk to the shop to get a beer. He knows it’s wrong, but he’ll always sneak up there when he can.

Rainy Wednesday Walk around Luang Prabang and Massage

I grew up in Seattle and was in the army so the rain ain’t no thing for me. Especially in a tropical environment. When I was in North Carolina for my job training, I remember it raining, then freezing, and having icicles on my hat, so I now feel this warm rain is refreshing and relaxing.

I find it quite amusing when it starts to rain and everyone runs away for cover like ants. What are they afraid of? If your clothes get wet, just wash them. You get completely wet when you take a shower so why is it so horrible when you have your clothes on?

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I also don’t have a problem swimming in this dirty brown Mekong River. The only time I won’t go in is if I have any open wounds. (I don’t want to waste money on antibiotics to kill the cellulitis and not be able to drink for a week.) Everyone always warns it’s dangerous and that I’ll die. From what? Is there a giant anaconda down there? Crocodiles? Maybe the story of the fire-breathing river monster is true. Most people think I’m weird, but I find their always living in fear and slaving away for fiat weird.

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This statue of Buddha appreciated the rain. It helped clean it and look good for this picture. I like the story of the Buddha’s enlightenment. One day while he was praying or meditating it started to rain very heavily and a giant king cobra came around him and expanded its hood flared neck to protect him from the rain.

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I’m sure that the monks can see me from their rooms but it feels really cool to come to an ancient temple and be all alone.

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One of my favorite temples in Luang Prabang is hidden on a hill on this corner. It’s not something you can see from the street, so I was living here almost two years before I found this gem.

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If you leave the city and go into the jungle, you’ll see people using these old American bombs to build their houses. The CIA led a secret war here that saw more bombs dropped than all of WWII. They were made of high-quality metal so are still a threat. Cluster bombs still kill and injure 300 people a year. As an American, I feel very sad that my government did this to these wonderful people and never took responsibility for the damage and death it’s still causing today.

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On an opposite note, peace. Can you spot the PEACE ☮️ bricks in the center of this picture? All buildings in Laos display their construction year. I’ve noticed almost every building from the 1970s used these peace bricks.

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Even when I ask my friends, who’ve spent years as monks, what all these paintings mean, they always don’t know. There’s a meaning and history in each scene. Good luck finding out what they are though.

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I do know about the giants though. Almost every temple will have them somewhere to protect it from evil.

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Which is your favorite Buddha image?

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I treated myself to a long-overdue massage. It felt so good because I’ve been wanting one for over a year. It only costs $6 for an hour oil massage that was one of the best I’ve ever had. I had hurt my back a bit doing wild slides at the water park so the oil massage was just what I needed to end this lovely rainy day.

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Thanks for enjoying this rainy Wednesday walk around Luang Prabang with me today. Have a good one!

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!