I am no longer in Laos! My 28 day visa expired and so I had to cross the border. I arrived in Nong Khai, Thailand and have been here for approximately a week. It started out as just a place to settle whilst I wait for my return to Laos, but I have really started to like this place. It’s quieter and less touristy than Vientiane and extremely chilled out. And not that I am a big fan of large corporations spreading their large corporation-ness all over the world but I could have dropped to my knees and shouted “hallelujah, praise the Lord!” when I saw a 7Eleven store as I entered Thailand. I’m not even religious, but this 7Eleven sure seemed like a miracle to me. Laos is the poorest of the South East Asian countries and is way less developed than Thailand, for example, which is a part of its charm really.
I have found during my travels that it’s great to move around to contrasting places every so often. The beach may sound like paradise for those of you working in an office right now, but I have lived at the beach for weeks at a time, and after a while you crave a little more from life. There’s only so much frisbee you can play before you start to question whether you should be doing something more productive with your time…it’s like an inner productivity demon crawling through your veins and infecting your mind, until you can take it no more and you must go and visit a temple for some culture, or write a blog post just to make yourself feel more ‘worthy’ and ‘purposeful’.
So whilst in Vientiane, when I wasn’t swimming or lounging by a swimming pool, I spent many of my days editing and working on jobs on my laptop in cafes. Being here in Nong Khai feels a little more like a holiday. I have met some super cool people and have had a little time to do some sight seeing. Which leads me onto the subject of today’s post…
Buddha Park, Nong Khai
So I had already heard about the Buddha Park on the other side of the river in Vientiane, but was not aware that there is also one here in Nong Khai. Maybe they were having some kind of ‘Buddha Park-off’ to see which country could create the best park of Buddhas. I haven’t yet visited the Buddha Park in Vientiane so I can’t yet compare, but I think it will have a tough job to beat the random, crazy and yet awesome display of Buddhist (and Hindu) statues on the Thai side. Honestly, I expected some kind of cultural, religious display but came away feeling more like I had just visited some Buddhist theme park. It is almost like the artist was just having a laugh when he/she/they designed this place.
So what follows is a collection of random photos from the park with some ridiculous commentary…are you ready? Let’s do this!:
The entrance to Buddha Park in Nong Khai, Thailand! I tried to pass as a baby to save myself 10 Baht by putting on a nappy/diaper, lying on the floor, pooing myself and screaming but for some reason they just called the police instead. Weird. Asian countries are so strange with their ‘laws’ and stuff.
I have a mallet that looks like a pumpkin on a stick and I am not afraid to use it. A friend I met here in Nong Khai about to bang the gong.
You can’t really tell from this photo, but there is a tiny Buddha statue inside Gabe’s mouth that is also screaming. It’s like Russian dolls. Inside that Buddha’s mouth is another Buddha and it goes on like that until you reach a single cell organism which doesn’t even have a mouth. And that’s where it all ends. Bit of an anti-climax to be honest.
In ancient times, your status depended on which animal you rode to work. The winner here is clearly the one that is riding the rock. Because to ride a rock, you gotta have skills. I mean ANYONE could ride a monkey to work, no sweat. Note to monkey rider: must try harder.
Pointing is rude. But not in ancient times. Nope, they didn’t even know what pointing was. She actually has a magnet fixed to the end of her finger which is being pulled towards the guy on the right’s chastity belt. True story.
Or as we can tell from this close up of his baby, it is actually just a miniature regular-sized person in disguise. Those sneaky statues. That’s where I went wrong all along. He isn’t even wearing a diaper. I’ll take mine off now. In 10 minutes. Ok, maybe I’ll just keep it on for the rest of the day.
I should probably be dead.
One of these fish is the odd one out. Can you spot which one? The gold one you say? WRONG! It was the one second from left in the middle…he is the only fish that doesn’t smell like fish in this photo. You should try harder next time.
In ancient times, dog rode scooters….
Who is that handsome man!? It’s Buddha you fools!
That’s enough lame jokes for today.