Postcard from Cambodia

Decided to seek refuge from the cares of the world and revisit Asia's most traditional city, Luang Prabang, in lovely Laos. Everyone was celebrating Pimai, Lao New Year, which is a bit like the water festival in Thailand, but with lots more color and charm.
From my balcony I watched the sun rise over the misty Mekong River and sat in awe as fifty barefoot monks silently passed, receiving their alms. Then I wandered over to an outdoor fair where I snatched up hand-woven baskets and embroidered silks brought to town by hill tribes families.  Everyone wore a shining smile and fancy costumes that sparkled with gay-glo pom-poms, silver jingle bells and precious stones.
In the afternoon the town held a parade led by boys and girls carrying sacred floral offerings in shimmering silver bowls. Buddha images were carried through the streets under golden umbrellas and brought to temples where they were washed with water flowing through dragon-shaped spouts. Laughing children playfully doused each other and passersby on the street corners.
As dusk settled slowly on the first day of the new year, the only thing missing was you! Better get here fast before I wake up from this dream.
Don't work too hard. And turn that TV off once in a while.

-- Ben


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Visit Laos
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photographs 2003 Purple Dragon

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