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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!

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.