Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Buddha in Laos...

A reclining buddha graces Xieng Khonane, the "Garden of the Buddhas" near the Laos-Thailand border. The concrete statues were built in the 1950s by a priest who combined Buddhist and Hindu influences.
Photograph by John William Banagan/Getty Images

"Laos is a poor, landlocked, and mountainous country in Southeast Asia. Agriculture, mostly subsistence farming, dominates the economy. Most people live in the valleys of the Mekong River and its tributaries, where rice can be grown on fertile floodplains. Soon after independence from France in 1953, the country fell into turmoil; in 1975 the communist Pathet Lao seized power with help from North Vietnam. Many fled the regime, and the U.S. resettled some 250,000 Lao refugees. One of the few remaining communist states, the economy is hampered by poor roads, no railroad, and limited access to electricity."

This is what Nat Geo says about Laos -

Devoutly Buddhist, the welcoming people of this quietly beautiful and largely undeveloped land maintain an easy, relaxed lifestyle that's in sharp contrast to that of their neighbors in hustle-and-bustle Thailand and Vietnam. • Vientiane, the waterside capital, is one of Asia's most laid-back, elegant, and atmospheric cities. • Tibetan monasteries, pristine snow-capped mountain peaks, exquisite colonial architecture, and the mysterious Plain of Jars merely top the list of this magical land's many appeals.

Would love to visit this amazing place... 2011 perhaps? :-)
 
Factoids:
Airport in Vientiane: Wattay
Language: Lao, French, English, various ethnic languages
Religion: Buddhist, animist, other
Currency: Kip
 
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