Wat Si Saket
Tiny Buddhas hide in ornate alcoves in the wall. They are everywhere and practically pile on top of one another on the floor, but the eye is immediately drawn to the large gold one in the centre of the room. It glows in the light of a wooden chandelier, made in the 19th century.
As soon as your toes touch the red carpet in front of the golden Buddha, you feel a shift in atmosphere. There is such a difference here, compared to those temples that allow photos inside, the sacredness of the place radiates. Your skin begins to tingle with the beauty and power of the place.
It is hard to make yourself move but you’ve got other places to go during this quick morning of sightseeing. You walk back through the open area of the temple, admiring the simple elegance of the place.
You hop in to the tuktuk, welcoming the breeze on the increasingly hot day. For a fleeting moment, you feel part of the hustle and bustle part of the city – though in this laid-back capital, there’s not too much of either.
Patuxai / Victory Gate
All too soon the ride is over and the heat smacks you in the face. You begin a sweaty climb up the steps of Victory Gate.
You find yourself somewhat baffled by the number of markets packed in to the structure. Ignoring the stalls and how sweaty you’re becoming, you carry on heading upwards.
You look out across the city.
For a moment, you look at the towers above you, impressed at the detail gone in to them.
You make your way back down, relieved to be out of the sun for a few minutes, but mildly worried about tripping. Soon you’re back under the arches, you keep craning your neck upwards to take it all in.
You walk underneath and look up again.
Pha That Luang
You sit on the steps outside the transcendent temple, admiring all the gold and red.
You look up.
You are not a comfortable temperature, even in the shade, but you brave the heat and explore more of the temple.
During an aimless wander, you come across this:
The gold glows in the warmth of the sun and you make sure to take your time, walking around the Buddha in awe. What a beautiful place.
Once again, it’s time to go. You’ve got a coach to catch to get to Vang Vieng.