Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Little Journey to a Chinese Temple - Pakse Tales

I saw a bashful little temple from my hotel's veranda, conveniently hiding behind trees and slightly peeping over the Sedone I Bridge. Though I hardly see proof of activity, it was beckoning me to get off my palace hotel for a late afternoon sojourn. People in Pakse just call it Wat Tsin because, well, it's a Chinese Temple.

While the mild afternoon sun provided glorious light all around me, I leisurely ventured towards the bridge - Sedone I. I had to cross from one side to the other to get better views of the flowing Sedone River as it heads in slithering fashion towards the west to join the Mekong. The walk didn't take 15 minutes. There were few people crossing the bridge, mostly children on their way home from school.

Upon reaching the eastern end of the bridge, I found a 30-or-so steps of stairs leading to the riverside grounds. I walked towards the direction of the small temple - with its four-level pagoda punctuating the fenced border. I wanted to check the grounds further but a few things held me back: a dog barking, the fence specifically providing barriers. Visitors were clearly not welcome here. Robert Frost, in "Mending Wall", had a more succinct observation:

"SOMETHING there is that doesn't love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun;
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast."

I got closer to the river and saw Champasak Palace Hotel from across. I couldn't see my room as it was facing west. Indeed, the hotel looked like a stack of layered cake, as described in tourist guides. Before heading back to the bridge, a placid pond nearby invited me to stay a few more minutes... so I did. I am going to miss Pakse more than I'd ever expected.

This is the Eye in the Sky!

Sedone I Bridge

Wat Tsin

Sedone I Bridge facing the south

Sedone I Bridge facing north.

Sedone River heads to the west in confluence with the Mekong.

The Champasak Palace Hotel becomes a silhouette on western sun.

Wat Tsin grounds

Thirty steps or so from the bridge to the riverside ground.

A pond east from the riverside.


R.Ramakrishnan said...

Exquisite and wonderful views from Sedone, lovely Chine temple. When are you finally planning to head back home?

eye in the sky said...

@ Ram:

Lovely place sure is. :)

Twin said...

Looks like the place is all yours...

eye in the sky said...

@ Twin:

It was mostly mine. After all, this is Pakse, Laos - and the whole place is poster child of lethargy. :)