Saturday, January 31, 2009

Laos: The Weird Concrete Sculptures of a Buddha Park – A 2nd Part

Have you ever wandered into a place - a realm - that reeks of the bizarre? It doesn’t help much either that this place is almost deserted at any time of the day. It was alienating visiting this weird weird Buddha Park located about 24 kilometers southeast of Laos’ capital Vientiane. Hiring a tuktuk on my own was getting to be an expensive endeavor. Otherwise, if I had to share it with other tourists, we could share the package rate of $19+ for a return trip. Unfortunately, it isn't easy looking for travel buddies if you only have half a day to spare. Since at this leg of my trip, I’d already trudged through 7 cities and spent a fortune on solo-trips, I decided to try a cheaper means: use the commuter bus!

Of course, such endeavor takes guts as I would have to brave the language barrier and my unfamiliarity with the place. From Talat Sao (Morning Market) Bus Station, I found the green colored Bus # 14 and headed to the Buddha Park. We weren’t able to post these images until now. This was supposed to be a second parter of my original piece on the Buddha Park. Here are more mind-twisting images borne out of the imagination of a whimsical mystic named Bunleua Sulilat. He envisioned a place where his imagination comes to life in the form of larger-than-life concrete sculptures, combining Buddhist and Hindu deities as well as of beastly creatures.

For more of the Buddha Park, visit these posts:
A little historical background and experimental images:

For the 1st part of my blog post on my visit:

I was particularly anxious about this visit. I worried I might get lost – and you know how things might happen to strangers in a strange land. Most importantly, I had to get right back to Vientiane late in the afternoon. I had to check out from my hotel and wait for my pick-up – someone was taking me to the bus station for my 9-hour bus ride further south of Laos to the city of Savannakhet – 400 kilometers from Vientiane, where I decided to spend a few days before border crossing the 2nd Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge to Mukdahan in Thailand.

P.S. For my “bravery”, I only spent
$0.50 one-way bus fare instead of a whole day tuktuk hire of almost $20. Moreover, I enjoyed the hospitality of the Lao people at my bus ride. Everyone was willing to give up their seats for me – even old old ladies! And I thought I could pass for a Lao. Haha.

This is the Eye in the Sky.

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