Xiengthong Palace
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Loving Luang Prabang, Laos
It's impossible to not fall for the colors on the exterior of the Wat Xieng Thong (Temple of the Golden City) at that golden hour before sunset in Luang Prabang, Loas. I'd been working in nearby Vietnam for a few months and decided to take a solo trip to this enchanting town of Laos and ended up spending ten days exploring. To this day, I'm sad I ever left. I'm fairly certain I spent about three hours in the very spot I took this photograph, watching the colors change as the sun went down, on that sparkling mosaic with the Buddhist Tree of Life. I sat there, writing letters to friends and family, trying to put into words, what my time living and working in Asia was doing to my heart, my path and my own tree. This beautiful temple was built in 1559 by the Lao King Setthathirath near where the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers join. It was used, up until 1975, as the place where the royal family and the Lao kings were crowned. The artistry within and on the exterior is considered 'classic Lao art'. Inside, you'll discover ceiling displays of Dharmachakras (the dharma wheels symbolising Buddhist law and the circle of reincarnation). The outside walls will reveal Lao legends and the rear part of the building called the gable, is decorated with the glass mosaic describing the tree of life. Take the time to study this beautiful building when you're in Luang Prabang and know that it will leave your heart soaring.
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