'NO ENTRY' & 'DO NOT ENTER' signs are placed both at the front & sides of the altar...incredible to imagine foreign tourists trying to clamber up - would they do so in places of worship in their own countries?
The floor is probably the only surface not dizzyingly covered by gold stencilled patterns...then again, the cat didn't lift up the carpet to check:
The start of another series of wat photos - for those who hate temple architecture, please skip the next couple of posts...
With the topmost wheel of Dhamma hidden in this view, the middle two wheels look like eyes:
The curving layers of the roof that make the sim look as if it could flap its wings & fly away, like in some Hayao Miyazaki anime film:
Many temples have plain roof edgings, but this one has winged deities stencilled in gold:
Cylindrical khom bang ໂຄມບັ້ງ lanterns are leftovers from last October's Boun Lai Heua Fai. Peeping beneath the roof at what holds it up - even more gold stencilling on every available square millimetre of surface area, including the beams:
At 7:40AM, the cat found itself all alone in the deserted grounds of Luang Prabang's most famous temple:
Multi-layered roof of the sim (main chapel) sweeping almost all the way down to the ground, characteristic of Luang Prabang style temples:
Similar to the roofs of some temples in the upper north of Laos:
Wat Chom Khao Manilath (Huay Xai)
But distinct from the steeper roofs of Vientiane temples (left) & the 'high & dry' roofs of Bangkok temples (middle & right):
L-R: Wat That Luang Neua (Vientiane), Wat Suthat (Bangkok), Wat Pathumwanaram (Bangkok)
After the cat had wandered around Wat Xieng Thong for quite a while, a few novices emerged after finishing their breakfast to head to school, ticket sellers arrived to set up their tables, & the first busload of tourists pulled up at the main entrance...but they didn't stay long - a few requisite snaps of the two must-see buildings in this temple (the sim & the funerary chariot hall) & they bundled back into their bus - it was an exceptionally cold morning according to the cat's new friends, some of whom fell ill after walking on alms round this morning.
The sound of the Nam Khan flowing into the Nam Khong at dawn:
A most meditative spot...every morning the cat would leave Vanvisa before daybreak & make its way through the mist-shrouded streets of Luang Prabang to the tip of the peninsula, & down a little path between vegetable plots on the riverbank, to listen to the rivers here.
The reason why the staff at the Post Office along Chao Fa Ngum Road have become experts at packing & wrapping up all sorts of odd-sized & fragile items for tourists to ship home:
Somewhere near the Ancient Luang Prabang Hotel towards the Phou Si Hotel/Post Office end of the night market, an alley lined with food stalls branches off from Sisavangvong Road towards Wat Phonexay. The food is mainly sold 'to go', with limited seating towards the Wat Phonexay end. The famous-among-backpackers pile-one-plate for 5000kip (pay more for spring rolls) vegetarian buffet cart (which included penne with cheese tonight...reflection of clientele?) is usually found at the Sisavangvong Road end. Apparently the entire night food market setup can be shifted to a nearby parallel alley depending on the whims of local police/officials.
Photo from Oct 2008 trip
To avoid confusion, non-Lao/Thai/English terms in the next paragraph are italicised...
The food stall offerings include (& are far from limited to) sticky rice (both steamed & grilled), fried rice, stir-fried noodles (from broad flat kway teow to intermediate Hokkien mee thickness to finer bee hoon) & all sorts of Lao meat & vegetable dishes/curries to go with them (economy rice to the Singaporeans & Malaysians), laab, grilled fish & chicken & other species of a less 'domesticated' origin, spiral Luang Prabang sausages (sai krok?), khai phaen, spring rolls, what Filipinos call balut (skip the cooking step & it'll hatch into a duckling in no time; at bottom left corner in above photo), doughnuts, short you char kueh (pathongko to the Thais), what looks like ham ji peng (didn't sample to see if it really is), bao, khanomkrok, & all sorts of pandan & coconut-based desserts, including nam waan lod chong - lod chong to Thais, & green chendol jelly in coconut milk, or simply chendol missing a hell lot of the usual ingredients (what is chendol without gulamelaka??) to Singaporeans & Malaysians.
Postcards of Lao Akha for YK, Jamu & Ban Apa people:
If only the cat had known how popular they'd be in Ban Apa, it'd have bought many more. It had enough only for Agong's wife, Ata, Atee, Tum's mother & Jamu...buseh's wife & others were disappointed. Agong & wife thought that the girl's skirt (middle postcard) was Hmong-influenced, & were puzzled why the women wore such long tops & pants instead of leggings around their calves (right postcard). Forgot to ask Agong's wife what she thought of the headdress - she complains that her Lomi Akha one with the silver spheres are too heavy & a headache to wear. Interesting how there can be so many variations between the traditional dress of different subgroups, yet one can still recognise all as distinctively Akha.
end of day 11 (271206): noodle soup/pho/feu/khaaw soi eaten to date = 08 bowls