luang prabang, laos

Monk Robes

Monks can have very few possessions in life. They are: 1 toothpick, an umbrella, a belt, a razor, three robes and an alms bowl.
Centuries ago -robes were made from “pure cloth” – meaning cloth that no one else wanted anymore. The monks would collect old rags, wash them, then dye them by boiling with vegetables and spices like turmeric and saffron which gave the robes the bright orange/yellow colors.
Monks in Southeast Asia still wear the spice colored robes today in shades of curry, cumin, paprika and saffron.

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This gives a whole new meaning to “clean your plate!”

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Good gravy! Over a month in and we’re still dealing with picky eaters! “I’m starving! I’m starving!” Then after they order food “Ew! I don’t like it.” We keep telling them that if they were truly starving, they would eat ANYTHING! Maybe by the end of the trip they’ll be eating pig’s snouts and chicken feet…

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Always take your shoes off!

Feet are considered the dirtiest (lowest) part of your body – so you must always remove your shoes before entering anywhere (temples, restaurants, stores, hotels, homes.) At some temples, they have shoe, shorts and tank top “police” that will ask you to leave and come back when you have taken your shoes off and/or covered your shoulders/legs (or you can always rent some hideous getup!)

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The back of someone who was important at some point in time

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Boats used to transport the king

We looked in this huge garage and there were rats and cats roaming around these beautiful boats.

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The Boys Exploring & The Tree of Life

The tree of life is used throughout Laos on many paintings, temple walls and even t-shirts. It has peacocks, angels and a transcendent Buddha on it.

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Luang Prabang

The guidebook says “you’ll be reaching for your camera at every turn.” That is no understatement. This place was so charming (I never use that word- but that’s the best way to describe it.) Luang Prabang is home to the Buddha Footprint, Royal Palace car collection, tons of cute little used book stores and an awesome hangout called Utopia where you over look the Mekong River and where we played lots of UNO.
While we were at Utopia – a few kids were swimming in the river, some were fishing and one woman was washing her clothes on some rocks.
Jesse is loving the temples. He takes tons of pictures. It’s hard to figure out which photos to use since they are all so beautiful.

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Restoration Station

These photos were taken at a photo exhibition titled ‘The Floating Buddha.’ Some monks can actually meditate with their legs straight out in front of them while their back is at a 45 degree angle. It appears as though they are hovering/floating above the ground. Some monks meditate while walking (either alone or in groups.)
The photos on display were pretty amazing. Some were of five or six year old boys in a seated meditation (they can stay like this for hours.) What are we doing to our kids in the western world? Sometimes our kids can’t sit for five minutes!
The man is restoring a Buddha’s head that was cracked at the neck. There were other people soldering on fingers, hands, etc. People were painting and cleaning- they take much pride in the care and display of their artifacts.

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Did I already post this? Well, it’s cute enough to post again if I did!

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Going Nowhere Fast

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Sometimes when you’re on muddy, steep climbs- it is better to go quickly. By the time you get to the top, you feel like you’ve had a killer workout (or that you’re getting old!)

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