|Took a Tuk Tuk to Pha That Luang this morning and spent about half an hour looking around. The temple is really important to Laos people as both a religious building and a symbol of national sovereignty.
There has been a reigious building on this site since 3BC and it has been in it's present style since the 16th century. It has been destroyed and rebuilt numerous times since then, most recently in 1935. From afar the temple is really amazing. Elegant and golden it dominates the lowrise skyline of the capital. Upclose, as with so many things it looks a little faded and in need of a paint job. The thing I really enjoy about all the temples we visit is the serene and restful ambience. Listening to the saffron robed monks chanting before Buddha is particularly absorbing and relaxing.
Then took a tuk tuk to the National Stadium to watch some expats paying rugby. We had seen the event advertised in the Vientiane Times yesterday. The teams were from all over Indochina and despite the searing heat everyone was getting in to the spirit of things. We wanted to support the local Vientiane Buffalos but didn't really like them. They never scored and spent most of their efforts playing dirty. One guy was sin binned and we had a right laugh watching him fester on the sidelines before he was allowed back on the pitch. All in all an interesting insight into expat life. Off the pitch the atmosphere was very friendly. Everyone knew everyone.
Day 83 complete