Thursday, July 07, 2011

280707 Wat Nongbone - 01 entrance

Located roughly west of Pha That Luang, across the road from That Luang 'square'. Unlike most temples in Luang Prabang, those in Vientiane & northeast Thailand tend to have rather large & elaborate arches at the entrance(s) to their compounds. Looking out of the main entrance from within the compound - July 2007:


A tiny 3-headed white elephant (Erawan aka. Airavata) that was the symbol of pre-Communist Laos, above a Wheel of Dhamma (Dhammacakra) flanked by 4 devas, above what appears to be the name of the temple flanked by another 2 devas:


Not sure if this is the old or official/formal name of the temple - Wat Pha Maha That Chao Xieng Mai Na Bon:


'Maha That' = great stupa, but the cat didn't see any big fat stupa in this temple...'Chao' = ruler/prince, 'Xieng Mai' = Lao name for Chiangmai (in Thailand)...does 'Xieng Mai Na Bon' have anything to do with the 'Wat Xiengmai Nabong' mentioned here?

In the background, one of the buildings of the abandoned Dokmaidaeng (lit. red flower) Playland amusement park across the road:

Photo by K-san

Unfortunately the cat did not explore this perfect haikyo site on this trip; by its next visit to Vientiane most of the decaying amusement park would be reduced to a pile of rubble, & by the third visit most of the rubble would be gone.

Columbarium niches form the boundary walls of Lao temples:


Apparently cremations were held in the open space near this wall (this temple does not have a furnace). Some Lao friends (including monks) believe that temple grounds are full of phii (ghosts) & dare not walk there alone at night.

Outside the temple walls, the world & years rush by - July 2007:


October 2008:


Military guys buying lottery tickets on the way home after picking up the kids from school:


Just like in Thailand, it's not uncommon to see some monks & novices buying lottery tickets too.

December 2009:


All repainted & spruced up for the SEA Games, with the crooked spire on the main arch straightened (compare with second photo of this post) - facing an empty plot where Dokmaidaeng used to be:


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