Laos: Heaven and Hell on Phu Si Mountain, 2007
Luang Prabang, the old royal city of Laos, seemed like a magical remnant of another time in Southeast Asia. How and to what extent it escaped the American War and other conflicts remains unclear but in 2007, at least, the town exerted a powerful hold upon visitors.
One of the main attractions in Mt. Phousi. More of a hill than a real mountain, it nonetheless dominates Luang Prabang at some 350 feet higher than street level.
The summit is dominated by the Buddhist temple, Wat Chom Si.
There are a variety of other monuments to be found on the way to the top but really, the views make the short hike more than worthwhile.
One quickly achieves a commanding view of the Mekong River.
Along with aerial perspectives of the many other temples in Luang Prabang.
Not to mention other beautiful sights in all directions.
A reclining Buddha on the slopes of Phousi is locally famous.
In one spot we came across an arresting image. I always associated Hell with Christianity but apparently that religion does not maintain sole ownership.