Exploring Laos

After meeting our guests and flying to Laos, we proceeded to take Luang Prabang  by photo storm.  The hotel was great, the food was excellent and the friendships will last a lifetime.  Below is a photo of the main source of transportation.  These friendly drivers will get you to the monks and back to your hotel with no effort or planning and with little cost.  Great entrepreneurs as well as some organized companies will show you this city of monks and temples.

 

 

Here is a rare sight… A monk smiling.  The picture below is from the sunrise procession of monks doing their alms.  They live on only what is given to them  and each day they gather food in their bowls that is given to them by the local villagers.  Some of our group including Dan P. joined in the giving as hundreds of monks passed by on their way to their temple.  This is truly a highlight of the trip.

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Later, these same monks gather to pray, to eat, and to learn.  We were able to get an exclusive look at this part of their day when they invited us to photograph this normally private time.  Some even remembered M&M from previous years and were happy to see us again.

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This is a shot of an elderly lady in a small village right on the Mekong river.  She was anxious to see our photos so we reviewed an entire memory card full of images.  She explained as best she could her relationship to each one we showed her and her joy at seeing them was rewarding for both of us.

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This image was from the same village.  Earlier, one of our guests Carolyn had been teaching all of the village kids some English and giving them a fun ring to wear.  This mother appreciated her efforts and rewarded us with great photo opportunity.  Great people and great time shooting as well.

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Does this look like where you ate lunch?  It does to me.  It’s on the Mekong as well near the China border.  We had fine linens and china to match the exquisite food prepared by the small restaurant next to these boats.  Our group loved the meal.

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Again we visit the monk procession early in the morning so we can be sure to get great shots.  Here are two more that show the pageantry and solemnity of the occasion.   You have to be there to get the full effect, but most who go end up shooting video as well on this just to be sure not to miss anything.

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These children waited for the monks to return so they could offer their alms with their mother and grandmother.  This is a way of life for them and it begins at sunrise every day.

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While photographing at one of the most beautiful waterfalls and reflecting pools in the world, we came across a group of folks experiencing the mineral-rich waters.  The woman below was from Argentina and was on vacation with her boyfriend and 2 other couples.  When she saw a group of photographers and one commented she should be a model, she decided to give it a go.  Our waterfall shoot became a model shoot and we got great images.  Of course the boyfriend wanted copies and so did she.  Always take the photo opportunities that are presented to you.  This was unexpected, but ended up being great photography.

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We continue on next to Vietnam and see the great Ha Long Bay, Hanoi, Sapa, and many other gems in this fascinating country.  Stay tuned for the next post.  As always, we will show you what we are doing, and what you will be seeing when you join us next year.  This trip usually fills, so let us know soon if you want us to hold a spot for you.

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