|Black sesame seed ice-cream and|
Today is the first day of the new year, and the last day of Pii Mai.
We decided to take a cycle across town to That Luang.
We stopped off at our fifth temple en route, to see Martine's favourite reclining Buddha. There was a lovely elderly lady who come over, supported by her granddaughter, especially to bless us with a soaking.
That Luang is a huge complex with many beautiful buildings.
There is a tree which is supposed to have been planted by the person who brought Buddhism to Laos. It is surrounded by many Buddhas in different positions. All of which I dowsed with my bucket of flower water, and my newly acquired scented branch.
The building pictured above was held up at its four corners by these interesting characters.
The main attraction at That Luang is the golden stupa. Stupa means a mound containing Buddhist relics. This one is said to have originally contained Buddha's breast bone.
As with the other temples, there were many animals and gods depicted.
And also two replicas of the Emerald Buddha, which once passed through Laos and now resides in the Grand Palace at Bangkok.
There was also a large statue of Buddha with Naga on a rooftop, which we climbed up to get a better look at (and wet, of course).
The view from the top was very good.
|Waving at Ruairí|
That second building was beautifully decorated inside, with paintings of all of the animals of the Lao year.
Even the doors at the back were ornately decorated.
There were plenty more trees and Buddhas to wet, including smaller table shrines to the ancestors.
Ruairí and Martine made sure that I saved some water for the main attraction: the biggest reclining Buddha you have ever seen!
The perfect backdrop to show off Martine's new hat, woven from leaves.