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VENTIANE LAOS

August 8, 2011

Dare to dream  A Poem

Being crushed for so long….
Quon Lao dare not to dream
Dream of a day we have golden wings ….
Flying…
soaring across the sky.

Hardly do we remember…
of the olden days…
when the sky belonged to us…
When dream was what we breathed in…
day in day out.

Yet, the sky is so vast …
no different from the olden days.
Yet, we can’t make ourselves see…
beyond the horizon.

Envious are we …
of the birds …
little as they are…
flying high…
in the sky.

Quon Lao, don’t think you are that defeated…
that’s unfortunate!
Look deep into your eyes…
reach back into your ancestor’s soul.

See what?
Your spirit – Lao spirit …
never been crushed.
It lives on…
in you…
in me…
and in all Quon Lao.

Let’s go to the distance…
wherever it may take.
I, for one, will be with you.
Here is my hand…
take it …
dream with me …
dare with me.

Remember
Without a dream…
wings …
though endowed with…
are broken and useless.

Hakphaang,
Kongkeo Saycocie  (POET)

 

Ventiane would be the largest and perhaps just one of the most historic cities in the whole country of Laos.

With a population of only half a million people, Vientiane is a relatively compact capital, so most districts that are of interest to visitors are fairly close to each other and easily accessible by foot or bicycle. For longer journeys tuk-tuks or taxis are the way to go, or the more intrepid traveler can hire a motorcycle. In terms of orientation, Vientiane is divided into villages, or bans, the names of which can be useful to know when trying to direct a tuk-tuk driver.

Around Talat Sao The two-story, covered Morning Market (Talat Sao) is the true center of Vientiane, with the main post office, bus station and tourist information office nearby, as well as a number of banks and government offices on the surrounding streets. While the market itself is a shopper’s paradise, plenty of other buying opportunities are worth checking out in this area. Opposite the southern side of the Talat Sao and next to the post office is the Ethnic Handicraft Market, featuring goods from every province in the country. On the eastern side of Talat Sao is the central bus station for travelers heading north, south or west, and next to it stands Talat Khuadin. The covered part of this market sells dry goods very similar to those offered in Talat Sao, but often at a slightly cheaper pric

Settled since at least 1000 AD, Vientiane became an important administrative city of the Kingdom of Lan Xang (“million elephants”) in 1545. Ransacked in 1828 by the Siamese, Vientiane sprung back in time to be again named the capital of the protectorate of Laos by the French, a position it kept after independence (1953) and after the communists took over in 1975. Today Vientiane is the largest city in Laos, with an estimated population of 210,000 in the city itself and some 700,000 in Vientiane Prefecture.

History

Settled since at least 1000 AD, Vientiane became an important administrative city of the Kingdom of Lan Xang (“million elephants”) in 1545. Ransacked in 1828 by the Siamese, Vientiane sprung back in time to be again named the capital of the protectorate of Laos by the French, a position it kept after independence (1953) and after the communists took over in 1975. Today Vientiane is the largest city in Laos, with an estimated population of 210,000 in the city itself and some 700,000 in Vientiane Prefecture.

MEKONG RIVERSIDE PARK VENTIANE LAOS - TAI CHI EXERCISES

MEKONG RIVERSIDE PARK - STATUE OF CHAO ANOUVONG THE LAST KING OF LAOS (1767-1829).

PRAYERS AND OFFERINGS AT THE STATUE OF CHOU ANOUVONG LAST KING OF LAOS

SELLING FLOWERS AT THE STATUE OF CHOU ANOUVONG LAST KING OF LAOS

MEKONG RIVERSIDE PARK FLOWER SELLERCHILDRENS PLAY GROUND AT SUSET MEKONG RIVERSIDE PARK VENTIANE LAOS

COTTON CANDY FOR SALE IN THE MEKONG RIVERSIDE PARK VENTIANE LAOS

VENTIANE AT SUNSET

VENTIANE LAOS AT NIGHTTHAT DAM (BLACK STUPA), VENTIANE LAOS - MANY LAOTIONS BELIE IT IS INHABITED BY THE SEVEN HEADED SNAKE WHO TRIED TO PROTECT THEM FROM THE INVADING ARMIES OF SIAM IN 1827

Along Vientiane's widest boulevard, Thanon Lane Xang the Laos Telecom Building

TALAT SAO - MORNING MARKET VENTIANE LAOS

TALAT SAO -MORNING MARKET VENTIANE LAOS

TALAT SAO - MORNING MARKET

TALAT SAO MALL - Has 3 floors and is the first public building in Vientiane with an indoor parking. At weekends folks from the countryside come and marvel at the escalators (which, in one local magazine article, were referred to in English as "electricity ladders"), and at the bravery of those who venture onto them. The Mall boasts a few cafés and a thai-style food courtTALAT SAO MALL VENTIANE LAOS

TALAT SAO MALL

TALAT SAO MALL

LOTTERY SELLER TALAT SAO MALL VENTIANE LAOS

COSMETICS SELLER TALAT SAO MALL VENTIANE LAOS

COPE VISITOR CENTER - Explains Laos' legacy of unexploded ordnance (UXO) and the National Rehabilitation Centre's efforts to expand prosthetic, orthotic and rehabilitation services across the country. There are a number of exhibits and visitors can watch a number of short films on the subject.

PHOTOS BY:

LEONARD EPSTEIN

JANELLE BURGESS

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