Thursday, May 05, 2011

Buddha Cave, Khammouane, Laos

We had a teacher conference in ThaKhaek which is about 90 minutes away. The first round of workshops ended a bit early, so all the teachers decided to go visit a local tourist attraction about 30 minutes away. It's this cave full of old Buddha statues that was discovered by a local in 2005 or something. It has a beautiful pool of water below it and the entrance to the cave is about 50 feet up. They have stairs leading up to it now but I wonder how people used to access it.
They were really particular about things like women must wear a skirt (luckily I was already wearing one but the teachers weren't so lucky, see pics below) and no photography inside the cave. That's great. We are really particular about how we treat our churches and temples so I totally get that. But why is there a bunch of trash in the blue lagoon down below? What about the fridge inside the cave? There were all these old statues and then a fridge and then more statues. Plus, dust kind of creeps me out. It gives things an authenticity I guess but I'd rather they were clean so I could see what they looked like when they were made.
Sorry for the complaints - it was a really fun trip and the surrounding karst topography is really beautiful.

During the rainy season this area is a marsh.

The teachers borrow skirts

One of the Thai teachers brought his daughter along

I'm not sure why I had them stand behind the rock. There, perfect. Now you each have one foot hidden.

A lady was selling all kinds of medicinal forest products - there were some hooves and other various animal parts. This wood is supposed to cure some stomach disease. The sap was really dark red.

I almost photoshopped out that drink container behind me but decided to leave it to show the reality of most beautiful, tourist sites - the natural beauty is really incredible but there is litter everywhere. It's like biting into a gorgeous chocolate cake and finding a hair.


Doug G. said...

Fantastic Jade! I love hearing about Budda caves. Your hair in the cake analogy was perfect and cracked me up. Sad that they don't take better care of such precious artifacts. Maybe THAT could be a project taken on by the govt. (first things first).
Anyway, so glad you included a picture of your beautiful self.

Peggy said...

Shoot! That wasn't Doug. Ive got to learn David's and your trick of sharing gmail/computer. I never remember he could have been on last. Anyway, I speak for him most the time...

Mike said...

lol! Jade, you are hilarious. I love the hair in the chocolate analogy. And I laughed out loud about the feet behind the rocks...

I love what you are doing. You have an amazing life.

(Chels, not Mike)

A.Jean said...

Bill has often spoke about the density of the jungle. A few years about there was a Nat'l Geo program about recently found temples in Asia. I'm thinking it was Laos and who knows maybe this one. The liter is interesting huh? Of course, I'm think the fridge is stepping it up a notch. Thx for the pix and commentary.