A Buddhist Zodiac ?

On a wall inside an arched gateway leading to a spectacularly beautiful Wat in Vientiane stands this. “What is it” ? we asked ourselves, scratching our heads, briefly our groins, (it was hot and sweaty work this Wat crawling), and then, quite quickly and somewhat embarrassedly our heads again. Do Buddhist’s believe in Astrology ? […]

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A cat can stare at a King

So it’s true, a cat CAN stare at a King !  We’re not entirely certain if the Thai military Government, when providing the funding for these two extraordinary art works, were entirely across the democratic implications of this idiomatic proverb.  But we are fairly certain the artist was. A cat may also, it seems, stretch […]

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The Road to Luang Prabang

Correction: The looooooong and winding road to Luang Prabang Bing and Bob weren’t onboard but there was certainly a plethora of Dorothy Lamours complete with sarongs, (though smaller, browner and marginally less glamorous). We were picked up in the VIP chauffeur-driven cattle truck and bumped merrily along to the bus station. The usual Security Committee […]

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Laotian Loonies

One of the many great delights of being abroad is the exposure it gives you to people that, on reflection, make one feel comparatively balanced and sane. These are three such encounters. Firstly some excellent post-prandial advice from the delightful Indian Laotian family (originally from Pondicherry) who run the excellent Nishi restaurant in Luang Prabang. […]

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Buddha’s Field

Snatch the seeds from our hand grasshoppers and repeat after us, “Life is but an illusion”. .   Just south of Vientiane, along the muddy meandering path of that coffee coloured Mother of antiquity, the Mekong, a colossal field of Buddhas lies dreaming. . This glorious and apparently ancient field is in fact a modern […]

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How to Make an Elephant

Gentle readers, whilst conducting our usual probingly intensive research for this National Geographic style article we came across many images of passionate pachyderms going at it hammer and tusk, making sweet sweet love pictured from the side on and,…take our word for it,  it’s not a sight that once seen can ever be unseen. As […]

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Chaos in Laos

The intricacies of getting a Thai visa in Vientiane make Maurits Escher’s stairs seem like a small folding step ladder.  One moment you’re confidently striding upwards, the next dangling from monkey bars above a pit of writhing snakes. There are religiously special times for a cascading series of spectacularly badly defined but rigorously upheld procedures. […]

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Viva Laos Vegas

Our eyes are glittering and our hearts are full.  Vientiane on the Mekong is full of fairy dust.  Soaring gilded Wats, an Asian Arc de Triomphe on an Asian Champs Élysées, a giant King with a sensible hat and a big sword pointing across the river half wistfully, half threateningly at the Thais just across […]

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