By night, Hoi An, Vietnam is transformed into a dazzling paradise glimmering with brilliant silk lanterns, paper luminaries, and warm candlelight. With the sky cloaked in darkness, we strolled by the Thu Bon River and watched as the colorful luminaries danced on the water. Vendors of all ages sold them along the water’s edge to visitors who passed by to admire the night’s splendor.
On a shady street on which we regularly strolled during our stay in Luang Prabang, Laos, we watched a sculptor as he gradually turned rustic concrete into the smooth likeness of Buddha. I wonder what the man pondered on those quiet afternoons – as he was overlooked by other Buddhist figures in progress – in a sun-kissed courtyard garden. Perhaps he took lessons from the Buddha himself, whose quotes are featured so prominently on objects for sale in boutiques in the vicinity of the quiet lane.
It’s not your traditional Valentine’s Day imagery, yet these captures from our recent visit to Buddha Park – just outside of Vientiane, Laos – seemed so Cupid Day’esque.
Wishing you a splendid Valentine’s Day!
Where in the World?
Photography & text © Tricia A. Mitchell . All Rights Reserved.
Wat Phia Wat and its focal point — a war-scarred Buddha statue — are located in Muang Khoun, only 30 kilometers from Phonsavan, Laos. Muang Khoun was previously the region’s capital city, but all that remains of the capital today are the fragments of Wat Phia Wat, as well as a few stupas.
Given rugged dirt roads we’d encountered just days earlier on a tour of the Plain of Jars, we were not eager to hop back into a tuktuk and endure more bumpiness to get to Wat Phia Wat. (During that earlier drive, we’d felt like kernels of corn being tossed in a popcorn popper!) Nevertheless, to better understand the American Secret War in Laos, Shawn and I felt it was important to see Wat Phia Wat, so we pressed on.