Snapshots from the Indochina Loop
 

Monks

A common sight all through Asia, and especially in Laos are the monks walking down the street. Luang Prabang has a large number of Buddhist temples therefore it has a lot of monks wandering the streets.

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That Luang

This is a pictures of That Luang. It is the large stuppa (temple) just outside the Vientienne city center.

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40th Birthday

I worked for the first time ever on my birthday!! I have always been able to take the day off and have never before worked and since this was my 40th I decided that I needed to do it in style. I got up and went to That Luang, stopped by the market then had a wonderful lunch with a group of my passengers. In the afternoon I had a nice relaxing massage (at a cost of $3.50!). Then a few from the group decided to take part in the aerobics that is done overlooking the Mekong River every evening. After paying my 3000 kip (30 cents), I grabbed a mat and set out to do my best aerobics. I know the locals were not happy with us, well at least all the picture taking, but we all had a good time. Then I went out with the group for a nice dinner where the restaurant all sang Happy Birthday.

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Mudslide

On this trip we spend a night in a local Laos village where I have visited before. On this trip our guide told us that the bus would not be parking where it usually does. The week before it had gotten stuck when the rains created a mudslide which blocked the bus in. As you can see, the mudslide damaged the hut where they store the rice.

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Beef for Sale

Before we left the village I noticed this cart being pulled around by a few ladies. They had killed a cow and were taking it around selling its parts. There is a scale to weigh the parts and a pan of blood which is drained from the cow and also sold.

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Rice

Rice is a staple here in Asia and it is grown virtually everywhere. Here you can see a worker planting rice in the field.

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Uncle Ho

As part of the tour, we always stop to see the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi. The line snaked around for at least an hour (probably more) but somehow our guide managed to sneak the group in in about 15 minutes.

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Buy Something

This picture was taken on the beach near Hoi An, Vietnam. The little ladies are ruthless. This couple is trying very hard to sit under the shade of a palm tree and read their books, but this lady is trying to sell Pringles or some other treat for them to eat.

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Cyclos

Still a major form of transport in both Vietnam and Cambodia, the cyclo drivers are everywhere. Many of them sleep on their cyclos. This guy was just waking up.

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Water Blessing

These two guys and their motorbike are getting a water blessing by the monk from the temple. They don checked sarongs and sit on the step while the monk splashes water over them (and their bike).

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Tonle Sap

Went to the Tonle Sap Lake again outside of Siem Reap in Cambodia. The lake is much higher than it was 2 months ago and all the floating houses have come to the edge of the lake instead of staying in the middle as they do during the dry season. They wash and bath in the lake and this shows there clothes drying in any place they can find room.

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More Signs

I went with another passenger to give blood at the Angkor Children's Hospital which is in desperate need of blood because of the dengue fever epidemic that is going on right now. I saw this sign on the grounds of the hospital and got a real laugh out of it. Unfortunately it is a necessary sign!

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Harry Potter

I apologize to anyone working in the book business.... but here in Asia it is very easy to get photo copies of books (mostly guide books and novels) for dirt cheap. I knew that I would eventually find a photocopy of the new Harry Potter book but thought it would take a little while. To my disbelief... the book came out on July 21st and I found a photocopy on the morning of July 23rd in Saigon for the equivalent of about $6. Yes I have finished it but I won't tell anyone how it ends!!

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