Sunday, 17 July 2016

Laos (3) - Beautiful Laos 老撾(3)- 美麗的老撾

I'm still wondering if the two figures I saw at the magnificent Phapeng Falls are real or not
我到今天還懷疑 Phapeng 瀑布石頭上的人,是真是假

We entered Laos by bus at Boten(磨丁). The immigration officer asked politely for RMB20 “service fees” to fill my entry form. It wasn’t necessary but I paid anyways. Most of my travel mates were at another line, and not asked to pay anything. Jobbery — if it isn’t too serious an accusation for a minor transgression — like everything else in life, should be viewed with a sense of proportion. Poor folks wanting to make a few bucks is understandable human nature. Monstrous greed from rich people, in the name of “economic freedom”, is grotesque and pathological. To simple-mindedly measure them with the same yardstick would be unfair, unintelligent, and possibly hypocritical. Anyways, we visited villages and temples, markets and waterfalls, from Boten to Luan Prabang to Pakse. The natural scenery was stunning.

Beautiful sunrise at 4000 Islands 四千岛日出

我們由雲南磨憨過境到老撾的磨丁。過關時,我和另外一位團友沒有填好入境卡。關員用普通話索取人民幣20塊「服務費」。排另外一條龍的團友則不用額外付 費。我們雖然覺得不合理,卻都沒有爭辯,付了20元算數。亂收費用(飽私囊?)原則上雖然不妥,但窮人抵不住引誘,趁機多挖兩塊,是相對可以理解的不當行為。 相比之下,當今世上不少富翁,家財億萬仍然不擇手段,在法律空隙「合法」詐財,才是嚴重的制度失衡和社會悲劇。可惜不少人卻誤認這是「自由經濟」的美態, 羨慕之餘,爭相仿效。


Beautiful sunrise at 4000 Islands 四千岛日出

Wat Phu Monument at Champaksak is a rare ruin of Khmer Hindu complex dated back to the 5th century. Though much smaller in scale, it reminded me of Ankor Wat, 
with a mystifying ambiance made visually bizarre by the silvery trees


Shots from a textile village along River Nam Ou
Nam Ou 河流經的一個小村莊,以織布為主要生產活動

Big Buddha at Pakse  巴色大佛
Buddha Statues at the Pak Ou Caves  巴乌石窟的佛像

Wat Phu is just as good as anywhere for zoomed-in selfies. 
In close-up shots taken at arm's length, the location is irrelevant anyways,
why not photograph at home to save time and travelling? Oh well, this world is full of mysteries



Joyalso said...

Hi James,

Thanks for sharing. Laos seems a lovely place that thankfully the US didn't manage to destroy completely. Perhaps it was a trial run for what they're doing these days farther west.

James Tam 谭炳昌 (过渡) said...

thanks Joy. Let's hope their destructive side is exhausted, and the creative side of America makes a comeback soon :-)

JN said...

so interesting JT!

James Tam 谭炳昌 (过渡) said...

Thanks JN :-)

GAX said...

Thank you James, beautiful photos as always from you and very interesting. This makes me want to travel to Laos.

Wingo said...

The country is so beautiful and people so sweet and your skill in photography is mastery.

James Tam 谭炳昌 (过渡) said...

Thank you thank you !