Luang Prabang: Wednesday 5th March 2008
Today was our last day in Laos :(. We did a small morning tour of the city with our guide; visiting the King’s Palace which was now a museum. No photos were allowed inside, indeed we had to place our cameras, hats and backpacks into lockers before entering. Inside were all sorts of artefacts from around Laos, as well as the preserved Kings Palace, including his bedroom, sitting chambers, welcoming chambers with detailed paintings depicting Lao life on the walls. His throne and various suits and swords were also on display. A very interesting place.
We then visited a temple bejewelled in glass mosaic; green on the outside and red on the inside.
We crossed the road and climbed Phousie Hill which allowed us a panoramic view of Luang Prabang from the airport, up the Nam Khan and across to the surrounding mountains. Some monks were also visiting; every Buddhist temple needs to have monks nearby, or it just doesn’t feel authentic.
At the base of Phousie Hill is a small temple which inside has many murals painted on the walls. They depict the day to day activities in Lao, and looked like they had been renewed by repainting.
We next visited Vat Xieng Thong Ratsavoravihanh, which was a very beautiful temple complex. The main temple was intricately decorated both inside and out. On the rear was a mosaic depiction of one of Buddha’s stories, something about a tiger wanting to eat a baby Ox but the mother telling the tiger that the babies are tough and that he should eat an adult ox which are much tender. A nearby building housed the King’s funeral carriage decorated in gold with the walls of the building decorated in coloured glass mosaic similar to the inside of the King’s palace.
We had a very nice lunch at the Three Elephants Café, then it was to the airport for our departure.