Wonderful Laos

Jun 25, 2017 | Views: 2,778

In the heart of Indochina lies Laos, a tropical country that was once known as the realm of a million elephants. Today Laos or Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao P.D.R.) boasts a wealth of natural wonders and unchartered rivers, surrounded by mountains and lush green landscapes, making it one of the leading countries for ecotourism in Southeast Asia.

Many visitors are attracted to its laid-back lifestyle, enchanting temples, mysterious plains, ethnic mountain villages and beautiful sunsets, especially by the scenery surrounding the Mekong, which explains why the word Lao means “please don’t rush”. If you’re looking for a place that has spirituality, somewhere that is a little different, a country that’s somewhat off the beaten track, Laos is a country that many will not regret visiting.

Tsem Rinpoche
 


 

History

Laos was once known as the Ancient Kingdom of Lane Xang or Land of a Million Elephants

Laos used to be the Ancient Kingdom of Lane Xang or the Land of a Million Elephants

Laos has its roots in the ancient Lao kingdom of Lane Xang (million elephants), which was established under the ruling warlord King Fa Ngum, in the 14th century. The influence of the kingdom of Lane Xang is not only seen in present-day Laos, but also in Cambodia and Thailand. However, due to a succession dispute, Lane Xang gradually degenerated, and the kingdom split into three in 1694. This caused Laos to eventually be dominated by Siam (Thailand) from the late 18th century until the late 19th century.

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The east side of the Mekong was soon taken from Siam by the French, who wanted a buffer state to protect Vietnam, and set up Laos as a unified territory in 1907. It was briefly occupied by Japan in 1945, and a three-decade-long conflict was triggered when France wanted to reclaim its colony. The Lao people started fighting against the French regime for its rights and sovereignty.

During the Vietnam War (1964-1973), the United States dropped 1.9 million tonnes of bombs on Laos, most of it in the northeast part of Laos. Just for comparison, 2.2 million tonnes of bombs were dropped by all sides in World War II. Hence, Laos remains the most heavily bombed nation in history, particularly the Houaphanh and Xieng Khouang Provinces.

In 1975, the communist Pathet Lao took control of the government and he instituted a strict socialist regime that was closely aligned with Vietnam. In 1988, it gradually returned to private enterprise and the liberalisation of foreign investment laws. Laos became a member of ASEAN in 1997 and the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2013. At present, the multi-ethnic Lao people are making great efforts to develop Laos towards progress and prosperity.

 

Location

Map of Laos

Map of Laos. Click on image to enlarge

Laos shares its borders with Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south, Thailand to the west, and Myanmar and China on the northern side. It is located in the heart of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia and is the only Southeast Asian country without direct access to the sea.

The Mekong River is the main geographical feature, and it forms a natural border with Thailand in some areas. The Mekong flows through the land, covering almost 1,900 kilometres from north to south as it shapes the lifestyle of the people of Laos. In the south, the Mekong reaches a breadth of 20km, creating thousands of islands.

Laos is 236,800 square kilometres with mountains, plateaus, and plains making up its landscape. Its high mountains rise to an average of 1,500 metres, dominating the northern region. Laos’ three highest mountains can be found in the Phou Ane Plateau, Xieng Khouang Province, and they are Phou Xamxum at 2,620 metres, Phou Xao at 2,690 metres and Phou Bia at 2,820 metres.

The lowland region consists of large and small plain areas scattered all along the Mekong River. The largest is Vientiane Plain, situated on the lower reaches of the Nam Ngum River. Next is the Savannakhet Plain, situated on the lower reaches of the Sebangfai River and Sebanghieng River, while the Champasack Plain on the Mekong River stretches out to the Thai and Cambodian borders. These plains are rich with fertile soil, and they represent a quarter of the total area for the country’s granaries.

The famous Mekong River at sunset

The famous Mekong River at sunset

Laos is also criss-crossed with numerous rivers and streams, the largest being the famous Mekong River which flows 1,898 kilometers from north to south. 919 kilometres of it forms the major parts of the border with Thailand. It is estimated that some 60% of all the water entering the Mekong River system comes from Laos and provides great potential for hydropower development, with 51% of the power potential in the lower Mekong basin.

 

Regions

North: Luang Prabang, Vieng Phoukha, Bokeo Nature Reserve, Ban Nalan Trail, Houaphan Province, Houay Xai, Luang Namtha, Muang Long, Muang Ngoi Neua, Muang Xay, Muang Ngeun, Pakbeng, Nong Khiaw

In the northern part of Laos, you will get to experience hill tribe villages, mountains, and the historical charms of its former capital.

Centre: Vientiane, Plain of Jars, Tham Nong Pafa Cave, Tha Khaek, Vieng Xai, Vang Vieng

One of the best places to visit in the central part of Laos is Vientiane. Its relaxing pace is why it is known to be the sleepiest capital city. Explore the mysterious natural wonders, exotic countryside, and majestic caves, which are very sacred to Laotians.

South: Si Phan Don, Pakse, Champasak, Savannakhet

The Southern region is where you get to explore the Mekong flatlands, as well as its lush unchartered mountains. This region is considered to be least visited by tourists.

 

The Cities of Laos at a glance

Vientiane- known as the still sleepy capital on the banks of the Mekong River.

Huay Xai- situated in the north, on the Mekong and the border with Thailand.

Luang Namtha- the capital of the north, known for its adventurous trekking routes.

Luang Prabang- a UNESCO World Heritage City known for its numerous temples, colonial era architecture, and vibrant night market.

Muang Xay- also known as Oudomxay, the capital of the multi-ethnic province of Oudomxay.

Pakbeng- this small village is halfway between the Thai border at Huay Xai and Luang Prabang.

Pakse- the gateway to the Wat Phu ruins and the “four thousand islands” (Si Phan Don).

Savannakhet- situated in the south of the Mekong and connected by bridge to Mukdahan in Thailand.

Tha Khaek- the base for exploring the Phou Hin Boun National Park as well as the famous Konglor Cave

 

Population

Laos has a population of 6.9 million people, consisting of 49 ethnic groups, with four main local languages.

  • Lao-Tai Family has 8 ethnic groups: Lao, Phouthai, Tai, Lue, Gnouane, Young, Saek and Thai Neua.
  • Mon-Khmer Family consist of 32 ethnic groups: Singmou, Khmu, Pray, Khom, Bid, Thene, Idou, Lamed, Katang, Samtao, Makong, Trieng, Try, Ta-oi, Yeh, Harak, Brao, Krieng, Katou, Kri, Oi, Souai, Yrou, Gnaheune, Kabkae, Lavy, Khmer, Toum, Meuang and Ngouane.
  • Tibeto-Burmese Family consist of 7 ethnic groups: Akha, Hayi, Lahou, Lolo, Singsali, Sila, and Hor.
  • Hmong-Loumien consist of 2 main tribes.

As we can see Laos has great diversity with its multi-ethnic people scattered all over the land – each having their own unique culture, traditions and language. In general, the Lao language is the national language, but you can also find that people can speak English, French, Chinese, Thai, and Vietnamese.

 

Climate

Laos enjoys a tropical climate, which is mostly hot and humid all year round. It has two distinct seasons: the rainy season and the dry season.

  1. Rainy Season- May to September with temperatures around 30°C.
    Tropical downpours are frequent during this time (especially in July-August) and there’s been occasional floods when the Mekong River is full.
  2. Dry Season– October to April with temperatures soaring as high as 40°C.
    In Vientiane, the temperature can go as low as 19°C during January. However, in the mountainous regions, temperatures can drop to as low as 14-15°C during the winter months. During cold nights, it can easily reach the freezing point.

 

When to visit

The best time to visit Laos would be between November and February as it is a lot cooler during these months.

The hot season is especially prominent from March to May whereby it is very dry, which makes certain water sports and river trips impossible. The rainy season from June to October would be more ideal for water sports.

 

What to wear

During the hot season, especially from January to April, it would be best to dress in light, cotton clothes and make sure you’ve got a hat and your sunglasses on. It is also recommended for those with sensitive skin to put on some sunblock and bug repellent.

It can get really cold from November to December, so it would be good to bring along some warm clothing such as sweaters and jackets. Especially during the mornings and evenings, temperatures will drop, and even more so if you are visiting the mountainous regions in the North.

During the rainy season, especially from June to October, it is advisable to wear waterproof clothing and carry an umbrella wherever you go. If you are visiting temples, it would be smarter to wear sandals or shoes that you can easily remove before entering the temples.

 

Culture & Customs

The beautiful people of Laos

The beautiful people of Laos

Although Laos has a small population compared to the rest of its neighbours, it has 49 ethnic groups or tribes, among which the Lao, Khmou, and Hmong make up about three-quarters of the population. Most of the tribes are small with just a few hundred members. Laos has four main languages; Mone-Khmer is spoken by 32 tribes, Lao-Tai is spoken by eight tribes, a Tibeto-Chinese language is spoken by seven tribes and the Hmoung-Loumien language is spoken by two tribes.

 

Etiquette

Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge

Laos is a Buddhist nation and their national symbol is the golden stupa of Pha That Luang. People of Laos are frank, warm, and friendly. They are a very courteous and respectful culture.

The general greeting among the locals is the nop, which is placing both palms together in a praying position at the chest level. The higher the hands, the greater the respect. However, it should not go beyond the nose level. The nop is accompanied by a slight bow to show respect and humility, especially to someone of a higher status or more senior in age. It is also a form of expression of thanks, regret, or farewell greeting.

You must never point to or touch another person with your foot, as it is considered extremely rude and disrespectful, because the feet are considered the inferior part of your body.

 

Religion

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Buddhism is Laos’ main religion, and it was first introduced around the 8th century from the kingdom of Nam-cho, which is known as China today. The evidence for this can be seen at the Buddha image and stone inscription found at Ban Talat near Vientiane. It is now exhibited at Hor Phra Keo Museum.

During the 14th Century, with the support of the Cambodian King, King Ga Ngum successfully unified Laos, and the Kingdom of Lane Xang was established. From then on, King Fa Ngum declared Buddhism as the state religion and urged his people to abandon Animism and other beliefs such as the Cult of Spirits. He wanted to spread dharma to his people and develop a culture based on Theravada Buddhism.

King Fa Ngum was taken care of by a Cambodian monk when he was a child as he used to travel a lot to Cambodia with his father. When he grew, he married a princess who was a devout Buddhist.

Today, about 90% of the Lao people are Theravada Buddhists. Buddhism is part of the Lao people’s daily life, and very much influences and shapes Laos society. The influence of Buddhism is so strong that it can be read in the classical literature of Laos such as Pha Lak, Pha Lam, which is the Lao version of India’s epic Ramayana, and is considered part of the Jataka tales.

In terms of daily life, each morning, you will be able to witness Lao women coming out to give alms to monks as they believe in collecting merits for their future lives. It is very common, and expected, that all Lao men are to experience and enter monkhood for at least a short period in their life.

A typical scene in the morning, locals would come out to make offering to the monks

A typical scene in the morning, locals coming out to make offering to the monks

Traditionally, the monks spend three months in a wat (Buddhist temple) during the rainy season. However, today, most of them only stay for one or two weeks.

The Buddha images and art of Laos are quite distinctive, which sets them apart from its neighbours. For example, the “Calling for Rain” posture of Buddha images, which depicts the Buddha standing with his both hands held down by his side, and fingers pointing to the ground, is unique to Laos and cannot be found in any other Southeast Asian country’s Buddhist art.

Buddhas in “Calling for Rain” mudra where the fingers are pointing down can only be found in Laos

Buddhas in the “Calling for Rain” mudra, where the fingers are pointing down, can only be found in Laos

Currently, there are many on-going projects to preserve the classic Lao religious scriptures, such as transcribing palm leaf manuscripts from hundreds of years ago and having them safely stored in various wats.

 

Arts

The beautiful diversity of its people and cultures is what makes Laos rich in its cultural heritage, which can be seen in their religious art and the architecture of their buildings.

Across the land, one will discover an abundance of unique monuments and architectural styles that presents the artistic traditions of the Lao people. One of the most famous and iconic structures is the great sacred stupa called Pha That Luang in the capital, Vientiane. It is also the national symbol of Laos.

The great Sacred stupa called Pha That Luang in the capital, Vientiane

The great Sacred stupa called Pha That Luang in the capital, Vientiane

The stupa’s shape is dome-like with four-corners, and it has become a model for similar monuments across the country. These stupas represent and serve as veneration towards Buddha’s life, and inside these stupas are very precious sacred Buddhist relics.

In the Theravada Buddhist tradition, those who have passed on and been cremated will have their remains placed in a stupa so they can collect merits for a good rebirth.

You will be able to see different architectural styles which are apparent in the many Buddhist wats (temples) around the land. There are three main architectural styles, depending on the location of the temples and monasteries.

Haw Pha Bang, one of the Buddhist temple in Luang Prabang

Haw Pha Bang, one of the Buddhist temples in Luang Prabang

In Vientiane, their temple shapes are large rectangular structures constructed from bricks with high-peaked roofs. Whereas in Luang Prabang, the temples roofs are built very low, like it’s almost reaching the ground. Again, these two styles are different from the temples in Xieng Khouang where they do not have tiered roofs.

A temple in Xieng Khoung that is without tiered roofs

A temple in Xieng Khoung that is without tiered roofs

 

Etiquette when visiting a wat (temple or monastery)

  • Both men and women should dress respectfully. Wear clothes that cover your shoulders and knees.
  • Remove your shoes before entering the inner sanctum of the temple.
  • Be respectful, and refrain from behaviours such as hugging and kissing.
  • No alcohol is allowed within the temple grounds.
  • Do not point your feet towards the Buddha. When you sit, tuck your feet under and away from the Buddha.
  • The Buddha is a sacred image; please do not take pictures of you kissing the Buddha.
  • Women are not allowed to make any physical contact with monks as it is forbidden for monks to touch women as part of their vows.
  • Some monks take on the vow of silence. Hence, they will not answer you even if they can understand and speak English.
  • Do not make them feel obligated to stand next to you for a photograph or try to start a conversation with them if they seem reluctant.
  • If you wish to take close-up pictures of a monk, please ask for their permission.
  • Do not enter the main prayer hall (sim) of the temple if monks are chanting or meditating.
  • There are a few important dates in the Buddhist calendar to observe as this is when the temples become very busy with many devotees coming to pay homage and make offerings. During these special ceremonies, it is important to be extra mindful and sensitive in the way you conduct yourself, be respectful, and try not to get in their way.
  • Respect for monks is part of Laotian life, and the monks take their duties seriously.

 

Visas

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  • Russian, Korean, Japanese, Swiss, and ASEAN nationals including Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines, can enter Laos without a visa. Other countries not mentioned will need a tourist visa to enter. It is usually for one or two months, and issued by a Lao embassy or consulate. You can also obtain a visa on arrival at the airports in Vientiane, Luang Prabang, and Pakse, as well as the Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge between Nong Khai in Thailand and Vientiane, and the Laos/Vietnam border.
  • If you are coming from Cambodia, visas are available if you enter via Stung Treng (Cambodia). Guesthouses in Cambodia may tell you that visas are not available so that they can make some money through their visa services. Visas are also available at the Laos consulate in Khon Kaen, Thailand.
  • Be ready with at least two passport-sized photos when applying for a tourist visa, whether it is at an embassy or consulate, or upon arrival at an airport or any of the aforementioned entry points.
  • You may obtain your visa in advance from Lao embassies or consulates. The fee varies depending on your nationality.
  • Processing times also vary. It usually takes 2-3 days, but if you pay an extra small amount (around USD5), you may be able to receive your visa faster, sometimes in just an hour.
  • Visa-on-arrival facilities are now available at the international airports in Vientiane, Luang Prabang and Pakse, and at all border crossings, including overland crossings from Cambodia (visa-on-arrival facilities opened at Voen Kham – north of Stung Treng, Cambodia).

 

Health Precautions

Before visiting Laos, it is recommended for you to get anti-malaria vaccines as certain parts of Laos are known to have malaria. So, do check with your doctor to get the proper vaccines and medicines required for your trip. Other mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue are also common, so be sure to bring a good insect repellent, especially if you trekking in the jungles. Try to sleep with mosquito protection nets, mosquito coils or have the fan on. The mosquitoes that are active during the day carry dengue, and those that are active in the evening carry malaria.

When eating out, it is best to take foods that are fully cooked and drink bottled water, which is easily available everywhere.

 

Food

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Lao cuisine is almost the same as the food eaten in the north-eastern Isaan region of Thailand. They are very spicy, and more on the bitter side. They use lots of fresh herbs in their cooking and vegetables are eaten raw. Some of these raw vegetables are eaten to help you cool your mouth from too much chili.

A popular local dish Bamboo shoot, pork and bitter herb soup

A popular local dish Bamboo shoot, pork and bitter herb soup

Rice is their staple diet, specifically sticky rice, which is steamed and prepared in small baskets called tip khao and eaten by hand. They will pinch off a little bit of rice, roll it into a small ball, dip it into sauces, and eat.

Sticky rice is the staple diet of Laotian

Sticky rice is the staple diet of Laos

Lao people eat more sticky rice than any other people in the world, and it is the essence of what it means to be Lao. They often refer themselves as “luk khao niaow”, which means “children or descendants of sticky rice”.

Laap / larb salad is Laos’s national dish

Laap / larb salad is the national dish of Laos

The national dish is laap / larb, which is a type of “salad” made using minced meat mixed with herbs, spices, lime juice, and a lot of chili. This dish is very similar to Thai’s larb but, unlike the Thais, they also use raw meat (dip) instead of cooked meat (suk). It can also be prepared with seafood such as prawn and squid.

Minty, chilli-laden goodness: laap neua beef salad

Minty, chilli-laden goodness: laap neua beef salad

Another popular Lao dish is called tam maak hung, which is a spicy green papaya salad (som tam in Thailand). However, in Laos it is dressed with fermented crab and a chunky fish sauce called pa daek, which is stronger in flavour than the milder Thai version. Other popular dishes include spicy grilled chicken (ping kai), and fish steamed in a banana leaf (mok pa).

Besides Lao food, you can also experience other culinary dishes from other parts of the world. These include dishes from France, China, and Vietnam.

 

20 Great Places to Visit

 

1. Luang Prabang

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The ancient city of Luang Prabang is a UNESCO World Heritage City famed for its 33 gilded wats (temples), French colonial architecture, vibrant night market, and natural beauty. It is located in the northern part of Laos and is considered the heart of Laotian culture. This small enchanting town is surrounded by lush mountains while it sits 700 metres above sea level at the confluence of the Nam Khan and great Mekong Rivers.

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This city was once the royal capital of the Lane Xang Kingdom until the administrative seat was moved to Vientiane in 1545 by King Phothisarat. It is still the main centre for Buddhist studies in Laos, and is the perfect place for spiritual seekers and pilgrims.

The famous Luang Prabang night market which starts from 5pm – about 10pm daily

The famous Luang Prabang night market which starts from about 5pm, and is open until about 10pm daily

Besides experiencing its great history and heritage, one will also fall in love with its amazing aquamarine cascading waterfalls. Besides that, there are plenty of trekking and mountain-bike trails, kayaking trips, and river cruises to make your trip more adventurous.

How to get there

You can easily fly into Luang Prabang International Airport. Bangkok Airways and Lao Airlines both fly here twice daily. The airport is located just 4km from the city centre.

Take note: Best time to visit is between November and May.

Accommodation

There are tons of accommodation in Luang Prabang ranging from luxurious five-star hotels and resorts to the more budgeted guest-houses and villa. You can choose them according to your budget and requirements. It is always best to stay around the city centre as it would be easier for you to access the popular places to visit.

This is a good site to search for the right accommodation you need around Luang Prabang and more: http://www.visit-laos.com/hotels/luang-prabang/.

 

2. Wat Xieng Thong

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Wat Xieng Thong temple is also known as the ‘Golden Tree Monastery’ and is a symbol of great historic importance. Its magnificent architecture describes the characteristics of the Luang Prabang style very well. The temple features an elaborate tree of life mosaic with intricately carved walls. Inside, its sanctum houses some very rare Buddha images as well as a 12-metre high funeral carriage. It is strategically located close to where the Mekong meets the Nam Khan River.

How to get there

Wat Xieng Thong is located at the end of the peninsula, Luang Prabang, between Sakkaline Road and Khem Khong Road. Much of the old town can be reached on foot. The cost for riding a tuk tuk or jumbo is around 10,000 – 15,000 Kip depending your destination.

Take note: Please be mindful of your conduct when you enter a Buddhist temple or monastery. When entering the temple grounds, please remove your sunglasses. Do not wear revealing clothes, or bare your shoulders. Legs should be covered. Visitors can rent a traditional sarong (skirt) to cover up their legs if needed.

Address: Khem Khong, Luang Prabang, Laos
Phone: +92 300 3728669
Entrance Fee: 20,000 Kip
Opening Hours: 8:00am – 5:00pm daily

Accommodation

There are many places to stay near Wat Xieng Thong ranging from five-star hotels to guest-houses. These are two hotels that are relatively near the temple. It is recommended that you do further research to find the right accommodation that suits your needs and budget.

  1. Victoria Xiengthong Palace
    Address: Kounxoau Road, Ban Phonehueng, Luang Prabang 01160, Laos
    Phone: +856 71 213 200
    Website: https://victoriahotels.asia/en/overview-xiengthong
  2. Khoum Xieng Thong Guest House
    Address: Luang Prabang Old Town, Luang Prabang Laos
    Phone: +856 71 212 906
    Website: http://www.khoumxiengthong.com/web/location.htm

 

3. Pak Ou Caves

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Pak Ou Caves is one of the most sacred sites in Laos as the history of the caves dates back thousands of years, and houses over 4,000 Buddha images. It is a very popular pilgrimage site, and is usually packed during Buddhist festivals and the Lao New Year.

The cave sits 50 feet above the river and is a shrine to Lord Buddha and the river spirit, which is usually a Naga spirit. The shrine is built inside a limestone cliff, located where the Mekong meets the Nam Ou River. There are two sections: the upper cave called Tham Theung and the lower cave called Tham Ting. Both caves are full of miniature Buddha figures made from wood.

Over 4,000 Buddha images can be found in Pak Ou Caves

Over 4,000 Buddha images can be found in Pak Ou Caves

Over 4,000 Buddha images can be found in Pak Ou Caves

Over 4,000 Buddha images can be found in Pak Ou Caves

The lower Tham Ting cave filters in some light, but the upper Tham Theung cave is absolutely pitch black and a torch is required as you explore. The upper cave also houses the majority of Buddha statues that are believed to have been left by the locals hundreds of years ago.

How To Get There

The best and most fun way to get to Pak Ou caves is by boat. The boat ride is about 2 hours from Luang Prabang. So, sit back relax and enjoy the magnificent scenery of the Mekong River and limestone mountains along the way. Heading back is quicker as it is about an hour plus.

Boats leave the dock at Mekong river side near the end of the peninsula at 8.30am. Another option is to charter a tuk tuk, taxi, or minivan to Ban Pak Ou village which is just opposite the caves, on the other side of the river. Tuk tuk rides can be bumpy and costs around 200,000 Kip (US$ 26). After that, you can take the boat to cross the river for 10,000 Kip (US$ 1.30) per person.

Take note: There are small villages nearby which you can visit to experience river life and meet some real locals. When visiting Pak Ou, we recommend you bring a hat, sunscreen, a torch, and maybe mosquito repellent. Most tour operators will include lunch at a local restaurant in their package. The visit will usually be an all-day trip and include a river cruise.

Address: Pak Ou Caves are situated two hours upstream or 25km from Luang Prabang.
Fee: 80,000 Kip for cave admission. Return boat tickets per person/boat 65,000/300,000 Kip
Opening Hours: 8:00am – 5:00pm. Boats depart from 8:30am – 11:00am daily

Accommodation

Below are two recommended hotels, but there are many hotels in Luang Prabang ranging from five-star hotels to budget guest-houses. It is recommended that you do further research to find the right accommodation that suits your needs and budget.

  1. Nam Ou Riverside Hotel & Resort
    Address: Ban Vanglae , Laos PDR, 01169, Laos
    Phone: +856 20 22 350 157
    Website: http://www.namouriverside.com/
  2. Villa Senesouk
    Address: Opposite Wat Sene, Sakkarine Road, Luang Prabang, Laos
    Phone: +856 71 212 074

 

4. Kuang Si Waterfalls

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Kuang Si or Kuang Xi Waterfalls is the biggest waterfall in Luang Prabang, and is a very popular attraction. It has three tiers leading to a 50-metre drop into beautiful aquamarine pools which flows downstream. These enchanting pools with cascades of up to five metres high are what makes them wonderful swimming holes. Most of the pools are open to swimming, but there is one that is closed as it is considered a sacred site.

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Before heading your way to the waterfall, at the car park area, you will get to see some rescued bears at the Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Centre living happily in a safe environment.

Besides swimming, you can trek up to the top to see streams feeding into the falls and discover more pools that are breathtaking. Do be careful and make sure you are wearing the right footwear as the trails can be very slippery. It is not recommended for children and elderly folks.

How To Get There

There are a few ways to get yourself to Kuang Si Falls. If you are travelling in a group, you can choose to charter a tuk tuk or a jumbo. Depending on how well you bargain, it can cost around 150,000 Kip (about US$ 20). Other options would be to share a tuk tuk with other travellers for about 40,000 Kip (about US$ 5) per person. For those travelling alone, you can book a ride in a minivan, which can be easily arranged by a travel agency. Taking the minivan cost about 50,000 Kip (about US$ 6.50) per person. It is a 45-minute to an hour’s ride to get to the falls from Luang Prabang.

Take note: To avoid the crowd, try not to visit the Falls on Sundays, as many locals will come to enjoy their weekends here. The best time to visit this place is in the morning at around 11:00. It is usually full of people by 1pm.

Address: Kuang Si waterfall is about 29 kilometres south of Luang Prabang
Fee: 20,000 Kip
Opening Hours: 8:30am – 5:30pm daily

Accommodation

Below are two recommended hotels nearest to the falls, but there are many hotels in Luang Prabang area ranging from five-star hotels to budget guest-houses. It is recommended that you do further research to find the right accommodation that suits your needs and budget.

  1. Vanvisa at the Falls
    Address: Kuang Si Waterfall, Ban Thapene National Park, Luang Prabang, 06000, Laos
    Phone: +856 71 212 925
    Website: http://www.vanvisaguesthouse.com/AtTheFalls/index.html
  2. Hillside – Nature Lifestyle Lodge
    Address: Ban Xienmouk, Luang Prabang, 06000, Laos
    Phone: +856 30 57 17 342
    Website: http://hillsidelaos.com/

 

5. Mount Phousi

The golden stupa at Wat Chomsi of Mount Phousi

The golden stupa at Wat Chomsi of Mount Phousi

Phou Si means ‘sacred hill’ and it is about 100 metres high. It is situated 150 metres above the centre town of Luang Prabang. It is a very popular place to catch the beautiful sunrise and sunset over the Mekong. There may be hundreds of steps to conquer as you head up the hill, but the climb is worth it. Once you reach the top, you can enjoy the breathtaking 360-degree view across the city.

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There are two stairs which lead up to the mountain, you can choose to take one and another one to enjoy the two different views of the city from the hill.

The beautiful 360-degree view of the city at the top of Mount Phousi

The beautiful 360-degree view of the city at the top of Mount Phousi

At the top of the hill is a small temple with a golden stupa called Wat Chomsi. This lovely temple was built in 1804. There are flowers you can buy next to the wat to make offerings to get some blessings. You can also purchase caged birds to be set free. It is believed that when you set an animal free, you create the causes for longevity, luck, and happiness in the future.

A Buddha in a teaching posture with disciples at Mout Phousi

A Buddha in a teaching posture with disciples at Mout Phousi

Mount Phousi's beautiful reclining Buddha

Mount Phousi’s beautiful reclining Buddha

Halfway up the hill, you will come across the Wat Tham Phousi shrine that features many golden Buddhas, some in meditation posture, some teaching posture, a big-bellied Buddha nestled in a grotto and a golden reclining Buddha on a bed of water.

How To Get There

To get to Mount Phousi, just take the main stairway up behind the Royal Palace Museum on Sisavangvong Road. Another entrance is on Thanon Phousi, located near the Hive Bar. You can either walk, take a tuk tuk or a jumbo to get there, which will cost around 10,000 (US$ 1.30) and 15.000 Kip (US$ 2).

Take note: The best time to visit Mount Phousi is in the late afternoon to catch the beautiful sunset. Do bring along a bottle of water as you make your way up the hill. A hat would be good if you are visiting in the afternoon, as well as mosquito repellent.

Address: Centre of the old town of Luang Prabang and is in between Thanon Sisavangvong and Thanon Phousi.
Fee: 20,000 Kip
Opening Hours: 7:00am – 6:00pm

There is actually no set opening hours. You can even start your climb at 6am. The hill is open till late evening to allow people to watch sunsets at the summit.

Accommodation

Below are two recommended hotels, but there are many hotels in Luang Prabang ranging from five-star hotels to budget guest-houses. It is recommended that you do further research to find the right accommodation that suits your needs and budget.

  1. Indigo House
    Address: Sisavangvong Road, Ban Pakham Luang Prabang 06000, Laos
    Phone: +856 71 212 264
    Website: http://www.indigohouse.la/
  2. Phounsab Guesthouse
    Address: Ban Chomkong Sakkarine Road, Luang Prabang, Laos
    Phone: +856 71 213 096

 

6. Buddha Park (Xieng Khuan)

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Buddha Park, or Xieng Khuan, is a very famous park where you will find over 200 Buddha sculptures placed all around the park. One of its famous sculptures is a gigantic 40-metre high reclining Buddha image.

The magnificent 40-metre high reclining Buddha

The magnificent 40-metre high reclining Buddha

The magnificent 40-metre high reclining Buddha

The magnificent 40-metre high reclining Buddha

The park was built in 1958 by a monk named Luang Pu Bunleua Sulilat. He studied Buddhism as well as Hinduism, which explains why the park is filled with Buddha images as well as Hindu deities, together with demons and mythological creatures from both faiths.

A beautiful sculpture of a Hindu God, Indra riding on a three-headed elephant

A beautiful sculpture of a Hindu God, Indra riding on a three-headed elephant

Another Hindu deity with many faces and hands

Another Hindu deity with many faces and hands

Amongst the many sculptures, the ones that stands out are Indra, a Hindu god that rides on the three-headed elephant, a four-armed deity sitting on a horse, and a deity with twelve faces and many hands, each holding a unique object. Besides being huge, they are interesting because of the details and motifs that have been carved on them.

The entrance of the park is carved to look like a demon’s mouth and it stands about three metres high. Inside it is a stone ladder which leads to a bird’s eye view of the entire Xieng Kuan Park. The best place to take pictures would be on top of the giant pumpkin structure which is around three stories high.

A three-stories high giant pumpkin

A three-stories high giant pumpkin

How To Get There

The Buddha Park is located near Thadeua Village, about 25 kilometres south-east of Vientiane on the banks of the Mekong river. The best and easiest way to get here is to book through a Vientiane travel agent who will arrange everything for you.

You can also get here using the local No. 14 bus that leaves a few times an hour from the Khua Din bus station, which is next to the Talat Sao market. It is about 45 minutes and will costs 6,000 Kip one way by bus.

Another option is rent a motorbike, which is a fun way to see the local scenes and stop at interesting places along the way. However, do make sure you head back to town before dark just to be safe, as there are very few to no street lights in the rural areas.

Besides the above, you can always hire a tuk tuk and the cost will depend on how well you bargain with the driver. It is usually between 150,000 and 200,000 Kip. The driver will usually wait at the parking lot for you if you book him for a return trip back to Vientiane.

Address: Thanon Tha Deua, Vientiane, Laos
Phone: +856 21 212 248
Fee: 5,000 Kip per person, camera fee is 3,000 Kip
Opening Hours: 8:00am – 5:00pm

Accommodation

  1. Family Boutique Hotel
    Address: Pangkham Road, 01000 Vientiane, Laos
    Phone: +856 21 260 448
    Website: https://www.wotif.com/Vientiane-Hotels-Family-Boutique-Hotel.h16120813.Hotel-Information
  2. Mandala Boutique Hotel
    Address: Ban Phiawat, 33 Unit 10, Sisatanak District, 01000 Vientiane, Laos
    Phone: +856 21 214 493
    Website: http://www.mandalahotel.asia/

 

7. Vang Vieng

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Vang Vieng is a riverside town in central Laos that has been described as a paradise on earth. Set in gorgeous scenic landscapes of mountains, rivers, limestone cliffs and rice fields, it is a town that will capture your heart with its natural beauty.

Here in Vang Vieng, you will be able to witness many young travelers coming here for tubing (sitting inside a large round tube that floats) down the Nam Song River.

Young travellers love tubing as it is a great way to relax and see the sights along Nam Song River

Young travellers love tubing as it is a great way to relax and see the sights along Nam Song River

Besides that, there is Tham Poukham Cave which is famous for its ‘Blue Lagoon’ swimming pool. Don’t forget to explore Tham Norn, which is the biggest cave in Vang Vieng, and there are also many great rock-climbing spots around the area for those who are more adventurous.

The Blue Lagoon is truly a paradise. Enjoy swimming or swinging around in its turquoise cool lake and cool off on a hot day

The Blue Lagoon is truly a paradise. Enjoy swimming or swinging around in its turquoise cool lake and cool off on a hot day

Explore the Phu Kam Cave and discover a labyrinth of galleries and limestone pillars

Explore the Phu Kam Cave and discover a labyrinth of galleries and limestone pillars

How To Get There

You can get to Vang Vieng via Highway #13 between Vientiane and Luang Prabang. If you take the bus (depending on road and bus conditions), it takes about 6-8 hours from Luang Prabang, and around 3-4 hours from Vientiane.

The route from Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang is very scenic with lush mountains, while the route between Vang Vieng and Vientiane is flatter and has less interesting things to see.

Accommodation

There are heaps of hotels, villas, and guest-houses in Vang Vieng to select. They range from luxurious five stars to simple budget hotels. You can choose them based on your plans, budget, and requirements. Below are two examples.

  1. Laos Haven Hotel & Spa
    Address: 047 Ban Viengkeo, Vang Vieng , 01000 Vang Vieng, Laos
    Phone: +856 23 511 900
    Website: http://www.laoshaven.com/
  2. Vangvieng Boutique Hotel
    Address: Ban Viengkeo, Vangvieng, Laos
    Phone: +85623511108 / Fax: +84 (04) 3984 1900
    Website: http://www.vangviengboutiquehotel.com

 

8. Pha That Luang

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That Luang is also known as the Great Stupa in Vientiane and is considered the most sacred monument in the country. It is a symbol of their religion, Buddhism and a national symbol of Laos’ sovereignty. Its image is on Laos’ official seal. Looking at That Luang from the outside, it is like a golden fortress surrounded with high walls. It has two temples and one main stupa which is covered with gold leaf. It stands at 148 feet tall and its architectural style is influenced by Buddhism. This can be seen in its finely-gilded, red-lacquered doors, pointed stupas, and many Buddha images inside.

It is said to have been built in the 3rd century to house a breastbone of Lord Buddha that was brought to Laos by an Indian missionary. In 1566, King Setthathirat reconstructed the site from a 13th century Khmer ruin to its present-day structure. The King then named Vientiane the capital after Luang Prabang in the mid-16th century.

That Luang was actually damaged due to many invasions from the Burmese, Chinese, and Siamese in the 18th and 19th centuries. Restoration work was completed in 1900 by the French, and again in 1930.

How To Get There

That Luang is located on Thanon That Luang, which is a few kilometers north-east of the Vientiane city centre. The best and easiest way to get yourself here is by tuk tuk, which you can take from centre of town. A private tuk tuk will cost around 60,000 Kip.

Address: Vientiane, Laos
Phone: +856 20 95 210 600
Entrance Fee: 5,000 Kip
Opening Hours: 8:00am – 12:00pm (closed for lunch) and then 1:00pm – 4:00pm daily

Accommodation

There are heaps of hotels, villas and guest-houses in Vientiane to select from that are near the golden stupa. They range from luxurious five-star to simple budget hotels. You can select them based on your plans, budget, and requirements. Below are two examples.

  1. Ibis Vientiane Nam Phu Hotel
    Address: Namphu Square, Setthathirath Road, Chanthabury District, Vientiane 0100, Laos
    Phone: +856 21 262 050
    Website: http://www.ibis.com/gb/hotel-8074-ibis-vientiane-nam-phu/index.shtml
  2. Green Park Boutique Hotel
    Address: 12 Khouvieng Road, Ban. Nongchanch P.O. Box 9698, Vientiane 9698, Laos
    Phone: +856 21 264 097
    Website: http://www.greenparkvientiane.com/

 

9. Bolaven Plateau & Tad Fane Waterfall

Tad Fane Waterfalls in Bolaven Plateau thundering 100 metres down

Tad Fane Waterfalls in Bolaven Plateau thundering 100 metres down

Dong Hua Sao, also known as Taat Fang

Dong Hua Sao, also known as Taat Fang

Bolaven Plateau is located in the southern part of Laos, famed for its magnificent landscapes of lush green forest, ethnic villages, and many unexplored corners waiting to be discovered. It is home to Southeast Asia’s most spectacular waterfalls, which includes the famous Tad Fane and Dong Hua Sao, also known as Taat Fang.

The plateau’s position is about 1,000 to 1,350 metres above sea level. You will find that the weather here is a lot milder than in the other parts of the country, and it gets cooler during the night. You will get to see many fertile plains growing some of the country’s finest tea and coffee. Coffee is Laos’ biggest agricultural export and a huge income for their economy.

Dong Hua Sao National Bio-Diversity Conservation Area

Dong Hua Sao National Bio-Diversity Conservation Area

Tad Fane twin falls in Bolaven Plateau is not to be missed. The fall thunders over 100 metres down into a gorge of west of Paksong Twon, in Champasak Province. This exotic rainforest area is part of a big national park, which is a habitat to many wild animals such as leopards, tigers, elephants, and monkeys.

How To Get There

Bolaven Plateau is located at the southern part of Laos. The best place to begin your journey is from Pakse city which has a large bus station that departs quite frequently to Bolaven Plateau and other parts of Laos.

Address: Road 16e, Paksong KM38, Champasak Province, Laos
Entrance Fee: 5,000 Kip (US$ 0.62) for foreigners
Parking Fee: 3,000 Kip (US$ 0.37) for motorbike
Opening Hours: There are no specific opening hours for this place. It is open all-year round. The waterfalls are more impressive during the rainy season between July and October. If you visit between October and February, you will get to experience some coffee bean harvesting around the plateau.

Accommodation

  1. Tad Fane Resort
    Address: No.23 Lak 38 Paxong Road, Pakse 01000, Laos
    Phone: +856 20 56 693 366
    Website: http://www.tadfaneresort.com/en-gb/
  2. Le Jardin Hotel
    Address: 001 Ban Phonsavanh, 2.5 km from city centre, Pakse
    Phone: +856 30 946 3324
    Website: http://www.lejardindepakse.com/

 

10. That Ing Hang Stupa

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That Ing Hang Stupa is a great pilgrimage site where locals as well as Thai Buddhists would visit to pay homage. It is located in Savannakhet, Central Laos and is said to house a relic of the Buddha’s spine. The stupa stands about 9 metres high and showcases unique carvings from the 16th century.

French Colonial type of shop houses and church in Savannakhet

French Colonial type of shop houses and church in Savannakhet

French Colonial type of shop houses and church in Savannakhet

French Colonial type of shop houses and church in Savannakhet

Savannakhet is the famous birthplace of Laos’s former leader, Kaysone Phomvihane. It also used to be a French trading outpost back in the colonial times. Hence, this township has a few French colonial and Sino-Franco vintage type of architecture in its central district that you can explore.

How To Get There

If you are coming from Kaysone Phomvihane, the best way to get there is by tuk tuk or renting a motorbike. If you are coming in from Thailand, you can easily cross the 1.6km-long Friendship Bridge from Mukdahan Province to Laos’ Savannakhet. The border crossing is usually open from 9:00am to 4:30pm.

Take note: This is sacred place, so please dress with respect and do not wear revealing clothes. Women may be required to wear a traditional pahsin (Lao-style sarong), which are sold at nearby stores, before entering the temple grounds.

Address: Located in Ban That Village about 15km north of Kaysone Phomvihane District, Savannakhet Province, Central Laos.
Entrance Fee: Entry is FREE
Opening Hours: 8:00am – 5:00pm daily

Accommodation

  1. Daosavanh Resort & Spa Hotel
    Address: Ban Thahea, Kaisonephonvihan District, Savannakhet, Savannakhet, Laos
    Phone: +856 41 252 188
    Website: http://www.daosavanh.com/
  2. Sala Thongyon
    Address: Ban Xayyamounkon, Kaysorn District, Savannakhet, Laos, 01000
    Phone: +856 22466970 / 55463198

 

11. Ban Nalan Trail

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One of the best ways to explore the natural wonders of Laos is to embark on a two-day ecotourism trekking experience in the north of Laos.

When you trek in Luang Namtha Province, it is by law that you trek with a certified guide. You can arrange your trek at the Luang Nam Tha Tourist office and the cost of it will depend on how many people are trekking.

Day 1: From Ban Chalernsouk to Ban Nalan (4-5 hours)
Your two-day expedition begins at Ban Chaleunsouk, in the south of Luang Namtha. First, you will go up through a forest and then break at a ridge where you can to take in the amazing forest surroundings. Then the trail descends to a village, going through centuries-old trees, and passing an area which used to be a gunnery emplacement during the Indochina War before reaching Nam Ha river and finally Ban Nalan.

Day 2: From Ban Nalan to Ban Namlue (5-6 hours)
Your second day will start through the Nam Ha river where you will come across stands of huge hardwood trees, then patches of new bamboo growth, as you make your way to Ban Nalan Tai. After that, the trail becomes challenging as you will need to hike under a dense canopy of trees that is about four to five hundred years old. You will break at the top of the ridge where you can witness the spectacular view of Luang Namtha Town, and final descent at Lanten village in Ban Namlue.

How To Get There

Ban Nalan is located in Pathouphone district of Champassack province. You can fly into Pakse International Airport which is located 36km north of Champasak and then take a boat from Ban Muang.

Besides flying, you can also take the bus service by Green Paradise Travel.

Departs from Pakse: 01:30pm Departs from Si Phan Don and the Cambodian border: 09:30am Departs from Ban Hat Xay Khoune (Don Khong): 08:00am
Travelling Time: 1 hour
Costs: 60,000 Kip Costs: 70,000 Kip Costs: 70,000 Kip

Another alternative is to take a boat from Ban Muang village which is the most common way of travelling to Champasak. You can hire a boat privately for 20,000 Kip or share a boat with others. Or you can get on the car ferry, though it is not very frequent. Best is to check with your hotel for all these services as the would know the latest information.

Once you are in Champasak, it is very easy to get around by foot, or you can hire a bicycle or a motorbike.

Address/Location: Champasak Province, Laos. Geographical coordinates are 14° 49′ 0″ North, 106° 1′ 0″ East.
Phone: NIL
Parking Fee: NIL
Opening Hours: NIL
Package Fee for Ban Nalan Trail: 3 people = 360.000 Kip/each and 6 people = 330.000 Kip/each. This includes transport, an English-speaking guide, sleeping gears, drinking water, food etc. There are many different packages, do check with the prices and find out more form your hotel.

Accommodation

There are quite a few places to stay near Ban Nalan Trail in Pathouphone district, it would be good for you to further research on the accommodations that suit your budget and requirements. Below are two examples.

  1. La Folie Lodge
    Address: Done Daeng, Pathoumphone, Pakse, Champasak, 01000 Champasak, Laos
    Phone: +856 20 55 532 004
    Website: https://www.lafolie-laos.com/
  2. The River Resort
    Address: Ban Phaphinnoy, 14A Road, Champasak Distric, 06000 Champasak, Laos
    Phone: +856 20 568 50198 (Mobile Lao) / +856 30 956 8306 (Landline Lao) / +66 86 885 1170 (Mobile Thailand)
    Website:https://theriverresortlaos.com/

 

12. Wat Phu

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Wat Phu in Champasak is a must-visit place. Wat Phu means ‘mountain temple’ and sits on the hill with a magnificent view of fresh green landscape and the Mekong.

Wat Phu is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with Angkor-style Khmer temples, and it is actually older than Angkor Wat in Cambodia. The oldest temple in Wat Phu was constructed around the 5th century, the others are around 11th to 13th century. If you are into the Indiana Jones type of adventure, these ancient Khmer temple ruins are perfect for you.

Do take a close look at its intricate workmanship of the temples’ pillars, pediments, terrace, wall, doorways, courtyard, shrine, sanctuary, library and more. It has many Hindu Gods like Indra and Vishnu riding a Garuda (eagle) which tells us it used to be a Hindu temple. However, Buddhism became a strong influence in the mid-13th century and hence replaced Hinduism. So today you will see many Buddha statues scattered around the temple. In the front part of the temple, there is an altar and four big Buddha statues.

Besides that, do check out the natural spring around the area. The locals believe that this spring is produces holy water.

How To Get There

From the airport at Pakse to Champasak is approximately 1-1.5 hours. From Champasak town you can easily catch a bus or rent a bike to get yourself around.

Address/Location: Wat Phu is located in Pakse, Champasack Province, Southwestern Laos
Phone: +856 30 9565 325 (World Heritage Site Management Office of Wat Phu)
Entrance Fee: 50,000 Kip for foreigners and 20,000 Kip for locals. This includes entrance to the site, museum and electric car service.
Opening Hours: 8:00am – 6:00pm for the site and 8:00am – 4:30pm for the museum
Website: http://www.vatphou-champassak.com/

Accommodation

There many different types of accommodations to select from that is near Wat Phu. They range from luxurious five-star to simple budget hotels. You can select them based on your plans, budget, and requirements. Below are two examples.

  1. Inthira Champasak
    Address: Ban Amart, 01000 Champasak, Laos
    Phone: +856 41 252 188
    Website: NIL
  2. Anouxa Guesthouse
    Address: Mekong River, Champasak District, 01000 Champasak, Laos
    Phone: +856 31 213 272
    Website: NIL

 

13. Nong Khiaw

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Alternatively known as Muang Ngoi, Nong Khiaw is a beautiful old rustic town nestled on the west bank of the second biggest river in Laos, Nam Ou River. This township is located between the great limestone mountains in the north of Vang Vieng.

One of the popular caves to visit is Pha Tok Caves located 2km from the far side of the river. Set in high limestone cliffs, these caves used to be shelters for villages and Pathet Kao fighters during the 2nd Indo-China war.

This is probably the most laidback town in Laos with plenty of local charm. Explore its stunning scenery of towering limestone crags and karst mountains where you can also discover many hill tribe villages. There are many spots for trekking, rock-climbing, caving, cycling and boat trips. Overall travellers love this place because it is a great place to unwind and take it easy.

How To Get There

You can get to Nong Khiaw either by bus or by boat service from Luang Prabang. However, due to the dam construction at the Nam Ou river, boat services are no longer in operation for now. Do check with your hotel regarding the latest information.

The tourist bus departs at 9:00am from the Southern bus station, while the local buses leave at two different timing; 11:00am and 2:00pm from the northern station. There is also the minibus which departs daily at 9:30am.

Tourist bus fare cost 50,000 Kip, local bus fare cost 37,000 Kip and minibus cost 55,000 Kip per person. If you want to have hotel pick-up service, it is 65,000 Kip per person. Once you arrive you can take the tuk tuk to your next destination.

Address/Location: 152km northeast of Luang Prabang
Phone: NIL
Entrance Fee: NIL
Website: NIL

Accommodation

There many different types of accommodation available around Nong Khiaw. They range from luxurious five-star to simple budget hotels. You can select them based on your plans, budget, and requirements. Below are two examples.

  1. Nong Kiau Riverside
    Address: Ban Sop Houn, Nong Kiau Town, Luang Prabang, Laos
    Phone: +856 41 252 188
    Website: http://nongkiau.com
  2. Sunrise Guesthouse & Restaurant
    Address: Ban Subhoun, Luang Prabang, Laos
    Phone:

 

14. Plain of Jars

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Discover mysterious giant jars scattered all over Phonsavan. Its origin and how it appeared is unknown and remains a mystery to this day. They are carved from sandstone and granite and appear in various sizes. Some of them are 3.5 metres high and more than 2,000 years old, with archaeologists estimating them to be from the Iron Age. Some say it is a cemetery site and the jars were used to keep the dead. Some say it was made to store rice wine.

It used to be unsafe to visit this site because Laos was very heavily bombed and mined, and was very badly hit during the Vietnam War. The sites that are allowed for visitors and the most popular ones are Site 1, 2 and 3 as they are safe from UXO (unexploded ordinance). The biggest jars are at Site 1, while site 2 and 3 is more scenic with the view of villages and farmlands on the hills.

How To Get There

Depending where you are coming from, you can easily take a bus or fly into Phonsavan’s airport which is 5km south of the Plain of Jars.
Once you arrive in Phonsavan, you can easily hire 4WD taxi or hop on the local bus to Site 3 but not site 1 and 2.

Address/Location: 152km northeast of Luang Prabang or 50 km loop from Phonsavan, Laos
Phone: +856 020 22967213
Entrance Fee: NIL
Opening Hours: 8:00am – 8:15pm daily
Website: NIL

Accommodation

There are many different accommodations in Phonsavan near Plain of Jars, be sure to further research on the accommodations that suit your budget and requirements. Below are two examples.

  1. Vansana Plain Of Jars Hotel
    Address: Ban Phonesavanh, Phonsavan, Laos
    Phone: +856 61 2131703
    Website: http://www.vansanahotel-group.com/
  2. Maly Hotel
    Address: 24, Muangphouane Ban Phonsaaat, Phonsavan, Laos
    Phone: +856 209 8548500
    Website: http://www.vansanahotel-group.com/

 

15. Si Phan Don – 4000 Islands

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Nestled within the Mekong near the Cambodian border is Si Phan Don. Be captivated by its postcard-view landscape as time slows down, hypnotising you with its relaxing charms. Here’s where you discover an archipelago of literally thousands of islands, especially during the dry season. It is no wonder why it’s called the land of “four thousand islands”。 The Mekong swells up to a breadth of 14km, making it the river’s widest reach from the Tibetan Plateau to the South China Sea.

Si Phan Don boasts of many exciting rapids and some of the biggest waterfalls in Southeast Asia, and it is also home to the famous Irrawaddy dolphins. They can be spotted from the south island especially in the evening when the day is ending, from December to May. You can take a tour boat from the pier out to catch sight of the dolphins, but you will still need to pay regardless whether you caught sight of any dolphins or not.

During the day you can explore and see the architecture of Si Phan Don which is well mixed with French colonial villas, and then evening time, check out the market. If you are planning to visit in December, it would be a good idea to stay on until the National Day on 2nd December as there will many interesting celebrations such as the big boat race festival.

How To Get There

Depending where you are coming from, you can take a bus from the border of Cambodia, like from Pakse to Ban Nakasang, then take the ferry across to Don Khong and Don Det. There are buses that will take you in from Cambodia and Phnom Penh, so it really depends on which part you are coming in from, just be sure to check with the local travel agencies.

Another alternative is to take a boat from Stung Treng, northeast of Cambodia which leaves every morning

Address/Location: North of Cambodia border, the 4000 island stretches to about 50km along the Mekong, Champasak Province, South Laos.
Phone: +856 020 2296 7213
Entrance Fee: NIL
Opening Hours: NIL
Website: NIL

Accommodation

There are many different types of accommodations Si Phan Don, it would be good for you to further research on the accommodations that suit your budget and requirements. Below are two examples.

  1. Sala Done Khone
    Address: No. 09 Unit 01 Ban Khone Village, Khong District, Champassak Province, Laos
    Phone: +856 031 260940
    Website: http://www.salalaoboutique.com/saladonekhone/
  2. Pans Guest House
    Address: Ban Khone tai (Khone Island), Khong District, Don Khone, Laos
    Phone: NIL
    Website: https://www.tripadvisor.com.my/Hotel_Review-g1510725-d2018887-Reviews-Pans_Guest_House-Don_Khone_Champasak_Province.html

 

16. Vieng Xai Caves

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Just an hour from Sam Neua is Veng Xai (also being called Vieng Xay, Vieng Sai), a township in Hua Phan Province. Here is where you learn about Laos’ painful 20th-century history with the many ‘bomb-shelter caves’ that were used during the second Indo-China war. These caves were where the Pathet Lao leaders ran their operations in defiance of the West. The caves were kept a secret and were only opened to the world in 2007.

First, you’ll need to pay a visit to the Vieng Xai Cave Visitor Centre before actually going into the caves so you will understand and appreciate their history better. Hire a tour guide to take you into the caves and from there reveal all the key players in Laos’ government such as the highly respected Kaysone and Prince Souvannaphoum. The dark corners of the caves give you a glimpse of the hardships and life of the people of Laos during the war and what they went through to fight for their country.

How To Get There

Depending on where you are coming from, you can get on a songthaew (pick-up truck type of taxi from Thailand) from Nathong to go to Vieng Xai that leaves the bus station at around 8:30 am when it is full. It will cost around 20,000 Kip and the ride is about one hour.

If you are coming from Luang Prabang, take a bus from Sam Neua which is a 14 to 16 hours journey. You can also rent a van which may be faster by a few hours than the bus but will cost a little more. The journey up is beautiful and you will stop midway to rest one night in Phonsavan. It may a good idea to spend an extra night so you can see the Plain of Jars as well since you are in the area.

Once you’ve reached Sam Neua, take a 45 minutes morning bus ride to Vieng Xai. From there you can hire a motorbike to get you around, which is probably the best way to see this township.

Take Note: You will need to hire a motorbike to get around and you can do this at the Visitor centre. Do bring your own refreshments or a bottle of water as there are no cafes or restaurants around the caves.

Address/Location: Route 6, Houphan Province, 30km from Sam Neua from the capital of Phan province, and 55km from Laos and Vietnam border in Na Meo.
Phone: +856 64 314321
Entrance Fee: 60,000 Kip including tour guide
Opening Hours: 8:00am – 12:00pm and 1:30pm-04:30pm daily
Website: https://www.tripadvisor.com.my/Attraction_Review-g293949-d1734175-Reviews-Vieng_Xai_Cave_City-Laos.html

Accommodation

There are many different types of accommodations near Hua Phan Province, it would be good for you to further research on the accommodations that suit your budget and requirements. Below are two examples.

  1. Chittavanh Hotel
    Address: Ban Phanhxai, Xamnuea, Xam Nua, City Centre, Xam Neua, 01000 Laos
    Phone: +856 64 312265
    Website: NIL
  2. Keochinda II hotel
    Address: Nakasang village, Xamnuea, Xam Nua, City Centre, Xam Neua, 01000 Laos
    Phone: NIL
    Website: https://goo.gl/YkmKJ8

 

17. Mekong Riverside Park

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Built in 1958 by Luang Pu Bunleua Sulilat, the Mekong Riverside Park comes to live when the sun sets. Tourists head out to the popular Vientiane Night Market, where rows of stores are set up along the riverside boardwalk, selling all kinds of trinkets, arts, crafts, clothes and souvenirs. This is the time to bring out your best bargaining skill when shopping.

The bustling night market at the Mekong Riverside Park

The bustling night market at the Mekong Riverside Park

The entire riverside is bustling with people walking, shopping, jogging or just enjoying the cooling night breeze and watching the stunning sunset of the Mekong. The best time to visit this park is from 6:00pm to 7:30pm.

How To Get There

Depending on where you are staying, walking is probably the best way to get to this park or you can hire a bicycle or a motorbike to go around Vientiane. Do see our recommended accommodation below.

Address/Location: The Mekong River, Vientiane 0100, Laos
Phone: NIL
Entrance Fee: NIL
Opening Hours: All Day. Night Market starts at 5:00pm – 10:00pm
Website: NIL

Accommodation

There are many different types of accommodations near Mekong Riverside Park ranging from luxurious 5-star to budget hotels, it would be good for you to further research on the accommodations that suit your budget and requirements. Below are two examples.

  1. Landmark Mekong Riverside Hotel
    Address: Donchan Road, Thatkhao Village, Sisattanak District, Vientiane Capital, Riverfront, Vientiane, 01000 Laos
    Phone: +856 21 266888
    Website: https://landmarkmekongriversidehotel.com/en/redefining-luxury/
  2. Seasons Riverside Hotel
    Address: 25 Quai Fa Ngum, Shane Nuea, Sikhottabong District, Riverfront, Vientiane, 0102 Laos
    Phone: +856 21 216246
    Website: http://www.seasonsriverside.com/

 

18. Tham Kong Lo

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The colourful glow is that appears from the water in Tham Kong Lo cave is believed to sacred as they believe that it is a reflection of a Hindu God Indra.

The colourful glow that appears from the water in Tham Kong Lo cave is believed to be sacred as they believe that it is the reflection of the Hindu God Indra.

Venture into the hazy and mysterious underworld of Tham Kong Lo cave which runs for 7km, passing through small rapids and dramatic karst formation. Situated in Phu Hin Bun National Park, in Khammouane Province, this limestone cave is quoted to be “one of Southeast Asia’s geological wonders”.

The cave is located on the Nam Hin Bun River and is around 130km north of Thakhek. The river flows through the cave and inside the cave you will encounter bright emerald colour pools that glow. This colourful glow is believed to be auspicious and sacred as they believe that it is a reflection of the Hindu God Indra.

Inside the cave you will also find local vendors providing refreshments for tourists as they tour the cave. The best time to visit Tham Kong Lo is during the dry season, from November to April.

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How To Get There

Depending on where you are coming from, the best way is to take a bus direct to Kong Lo from Vientiane. If you can’t get a direct bus then take the bus that goes to Ban Khoun Kham and from there hop on a taxi truck called songthaew to Kong Lo.

If you are coming from the south, take the buses that go to Lak Sao and ask your bus driver to drop you off at Ban Khoun Kham. After that continue your journey with a songthaew. Take it easy when you arrive, check into a suitable accommodation and visit the cave in the morning using a songthaew as well. You can ask the reception at your guesthouse or hotel to help you book them early.

Address/Location: 47km off route 8, from Ban Khoum Khan, Phu Hin Bun National Park, Central Laos
Phone: NIL
Entrance Fee: 2,000 Kip + Cave Entrance Fee + 10,000 Kip
You can also pay in groups as it may cost cheaper. E.g. 120,000 Kip for two people.
Opening Hours: N/A However, 8:00am – 5:00pm is most ideal.
Website: NIL

Accommodation

Below are two suggested accommodations near Tham Kong Lo. However, we would advise you to feel free to further research to find what suits your budget and needs.

  1. SpringRiver Resort
    Address: Ban Tiou Village, Ban Tiou, Khounkham District, Ban O 01000, Laos
    Phone: +856 20 59636111
    Website: http://springriverresort.com/
  2. Sanhak Guesthouse
    Address: KM 43, Road No. 0A, Namsanam Road, Nahin/Khounkham Village, Ban Nahin-Nai, Khammoun Province, 01000 Ban Nahin-Nai, Laos
    Phone: NIL
    Website: https://goo.gl/aFamnR

 

19. Bokeo Nature Reserve

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Just after the border of Chiang Rai, Thailand and Myanmar, in the heart of the golden triangle lies Bokeo. Bokeo may be the smallest province in Laos but it has about 30 ethnic groups making it the province with the largest majority of ethnic groups. Bokeo means ‘gem mine’ and the reason for this is because it is well known as the ‘land of sapphires’, and mining for gold and precious stones is a huge profession for the people here.

Complete your stay with the Gibbon Experience, living in a tree house at Bokeo Nature Reserve

Complete your stay with the Gibbon Experience, living in a tree house at Bokeo Nature Reserve

The Bokeo Nature Reserve was established to help protect the endangered species such as the black-cheeked gibbon which was thought to have been extinct until it was discovered again in 1997. Your visit here will not be complete if you do not stay for the Gibbon Experience.

As an eco-tourism conservative project, guests are given a chance to live in a huge tree house and the mode of transport is zip-lining through the lush forest. Try to spot a black gibbon if you can, or maybe some wild buffalos, elephants, tigers and bears. Surrounded by mountains stretching from 1,600 to about 5,000 feet in altitude, the reserve is the best place for bird watching lovers. The Gibbon Experience and their committed team work tirelessly to rehabilitate wild animals that were caught by poachers, and they nurse them back to health so that they can return back to the wild.

How To Get There

From the Northern Bus Terminal in Vientiane, you can catch a direct bus here. There are also daily flights to Bokeo by Lao Airlines. Do check with your travel agency and plan you trip well as prices are subjected to change.

You can also enter from Thailand, take a boat taken from Pak Beng in Oudomxay or Chiang Khong. Visas are available upon arrival. To get around town is very easy and there are plenty of options from tuk tuks, jumbos (pick up truck with benches), and motorised tricycles. Besides that you can even hire a motorbike or bicycle. If you require a guided tour service, it would be good to contact the Bokeo Visitor Information Centre.

Address/Location: Gibbon Experience Office, Huay Xai, Laos
Phone: +856 84 212021
Entrance Fee: Check out their website below for their packages
Opening Hours: 8:00am – 5:00pm
Website: https://www.gibbonexperience.org/

Accommodation

There are many different types of accommodations near Bokeo Nature Reserve although they will not beat staying in a tree house. Be sure to further research on the accommodations that suit your budget and requirements. Below are two examples.

  1. Nakaraj Princess Hotel
    Address: Nakaraj Nakhon, Ban Viengmai, Huay Xai 01000, Laos
    Phone: +66 89 8915959 (Hotline) / +856 84 216000 (Call Centre)
    Website: http://www.nakarajprincess.com/
  2. Houay Xai Riverside Hotel (Phonevichith Guesthouse)
    Address: R3A Road, Ban Khon Keo,Houay Xai District, Bokeo Province, Laos
    Phone: +856 84 211765 / +856 20 55483729 (Mobile)
    Website: http://www.houayxairiverside.com

 

20. UXO Laos Visitor Centre

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UXO Laos Visitor Centre is the best place to learn about the hard history of Laos being the most heavily bombed country in the world. Spend just 30 minutes here and it opens your eyes and heart to what the country had to endure and how till this day, after 40 years, unexploded ordnance (UXO) still remain and haunt the people of Laos.

This is definitely a must visit place for those who come to Luang Prabang. Real bombs are displayed while stories of survivors are told on the centre’s walls. Their documentary is must watch to learn the tragic events about the Secret War.

Real bombs are displayed at the UXO Laos Visitor Centre telling stories of survivors on the centre’s walls

Real bombs are displayed at the UXO Laos Visitor Centre telling stories of survivors on the centre’s walls

How To Get There

UXO Laos Visitor Centre may be a small exhibition centre but the UXO National Unexploded Ordnance Programme (UXO Lao) is making great efforts to clean up the affected areas.

Located within the government building in Bounkhong Road, UXO Laos Visitor Centre is a 12-minute walk from the city centre, in Wat Naviengkham village, behind Souphanouvong Monument.

Address/Location: Behind Chao Anouvoung Monument, Phothisan Road, Luang Prabang 0600, Laos
Phone: +856 84 212021
Entrance Fee: FOC
Opening Hours: 8:00am – 12:00pm and 1:00pm – 4:00pm (Monday – Friday)
Website: http://www.uxolao.org/

Accommodation

There are many different places to stay in Luang Prabang to choose from ranging from budget to luxurious 5-star hotels. Be sure to further research on the accommodations that suit your budget and requirements. Below are two examples that are near UXO Laos Visitor Centre.

  1. Sofitel Luang Prabang, Luang Prabang
    Address: Manomai St, Ban Mano, Luang Prabang, 0600, Laos
    Phone: +856 71 260777
    Website: http://www.sofitel.com/gb/hotel-9669-sofitel-luang-prabang/index.shtml
  2. Satri House Secret Retreats
    Address: 057 Phothisarath Road, Ban That Luang, 85671 Luang Prabang, Laos
    Phone: +856 71 253491
    Website: http://www.satrihouse.com/index.php/english/home/

 

Travel Books on Laos

Get the most out of your visit to Laos. Before you arrive, read up on some travel books to help plan your trip better and make your journey more enjoyable. Two of the most popular travel books on Laos include:
Lonely Planet Laos

Authors: Nick Ray, Greg Bloom, Richard Waters

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“Lonely Planet Laos is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Whiz through the jungle on ziplines in Bokeo Nature Reserve, dine on French cuisine in historic Luang Prabang, or trek to minority villages on the Bolaven Plateau; all with your trusted travel companion. Get to the heart of Laos and begin your journey now!”

Website: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/laos
Laos Handbook, 6th: Travel Guide to Laos

Authour: Claire Boobbyer

laos65

“Laos is a little tranquillity in the heart of Southeast Asia, sandwiched between Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. Footprint’s 6th edition Laos Handbook has been completely revised and updated and provides everything needed to make the most of this peaceful and beautiful country. From hiring bikes and exploring the ‘4,000 islands’ in the south, going high-speed down the Mekong in a rubber tube, seeking out some amazing French bakeries in Vientiane or trekking deep into the mountains. With fantastic listings on how to do all these, plus the necessaries on where to eat, sleep and drink this guidebook is essential if you want to experience this beautiful country for yourself.”
Sources:

  • http://www.tourismlaos.org/
  • http://www.visit-laos.com/
  • http://wikitravel.org/en/Laos
  • https://www.lonelyplanet.com/laos/
  • https://www.thrillophilia.com/places-to-visit-in-laos
  • https://www.renown-travel.com/laos.html

For more interesting information:

 

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8 Responses to Wonderful Laos

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  1. Stella Cheang on Jul 13, 2017 at 10:43 pm

    It is very impressive that the laid back and quiescence Laos has so much to offer. It is inviting to see that Lao’s people have a history of venerating Buddha and holy beings. I like the way they show reverence by building beautiful statues of various sizes to keep the legendary beings alive. I especially like how 4,000 Buddha statues are nonchalantly placed in the Pak Ou Cave. I feel that Laos is ASEAN best-kept secret and I will make a trip there if I have the chance to do so in the near future.

  2. Wai Meng Wan on Jul 4, 2017 at 1:30 am

    I had a university mate who did a project in Laos, he found it to be still very pristine. Hope in their quest for modernisation, they can still maintain the natural beauty of the environment.

    It was interesting to know that statues of Buddha in Laos were having the posture of Calling for Rain. Being Agrarian it is not at all surprising that buddha will bless the people in Laos with abundant rain for their crops.

    Another form of Buddha was Buddha in Buddha Contemplating The Bodhi Tree stance, his hands crossed at the wrist admiring the Bodhi tree that he gain enlightenment under.
    http://www.arctracer.com/photos/laos/Vientiane/crossedhands.JPG

  3. Anne Ong on Jun 27, 2017 at 9:43 pm

    Very beautiful places of Laos! I think it’s very important to know and understand other peoples’religion,culture,etiquette in order to show respect to their practice. I love the sceneries. Espcially ,6. Buddha Park (Xieng Khuan),14. Plain of Jars, 9. Bolaven Plateau & Tad Fane Waterfall,12. Wat Phu,etc. And the food looks delicious too!:D
    Thank you very much Rinpoche and blog team for this very interesting and beautiful write up on Laos. Really appreciate it so much!:) _/\_

  4. Pastor Antoinette on Jun 27, 2017 at 6:00 pm

    Thank you for this very detailed article with many helpful informations on what to eat, how to behave and where to visit. Laos is indeed very beautiful and the many beautiful pictures are inviting for a relaxing and meaningful trip.

    Laos is a beautiful country with stunning nature, ecotourism, and wild animals. The many timples, Buddha images, Buddha park show us that Laos is also very spiritual. it is for sure a fascinating destination for pilgrimage and travel.

    I imagine it would be an extraordinary experience to stay in the tree-houses far above the ground.

  5. Fong on Jun 27, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    A land with a tragic past but is striving to move forward. Maybe due to their faith in the Buddha dharma, they remain gentle and soft spoken though haunted by the past wars.

    There is so much beauty and spirituality here amidst nature. Hopefully that won’t be lost as the country moves forward into the 21st century. It would be a bigger tragedy if the beauty of the nature and spirituality of the people are lost to modernization after the war.

    Love the beautiful images of the Buddha and temples that abound in Laos. Love too the images of the early morning rituals of alms giving to the sangha. What a great start to a day by practicing generosity and collecting merits for future lives.

  6. Lim Han Nee on Jun 26, 2017 at 5:59 pm

    Wonderful peaceful and tranquil Laos is a land that is rich in its historical, cultural and Buddhist heritage. It is a land of beautiful temples and stupas, heritage sites, sacred and natural caves, waterfalls set amidst lush green,a nature reserve and hundreds and hundreds of Buddha statues everywhere. There IS a Buddha Park that holds hundreds of Buddha images as well as images of Hindu deities, with a magnificent 40-meter reclining Buddha statue .

    However,among the beautiful sacred sites I would love to visit in wonderful Laos is scenic Mount Phousi. Situated 150 metres above Luang Prabang, this sacred hill has a temple of over 200 years old, Wat Chomsi,with a golden stupa, at the top.A great climb to make to catch the beautiful sunrise and sunset over the Mekong and to enjoy a breathtaking 360 degree view across the city!

    Halfway up the hill, you will come across the amazing Wat Tham Phousi shrine that features many golden Buddhas, some in meditation posture, some teaching posture, a big-bellied Buddha nestled in a grotto and a golden reclining Buddha on a bed of water! I would love to see in particular the golden Buddha in teaching posture and the golden Buddha reclining in water. The big-bellied Buddha seems to suggest a touch of the Chinese Mahayana Buddhism here!

    Yes, this is amazing fascinating Laos! Its sad tragic history of being the most heavily bombed country in the world does not take away the fact that it is a country with many fascinatingly beautiful and sacred sites.

  7. graceleong on Jun 26, 2017 at 5:52 pm

    It is great to visit Laos in the winter as the winter is mild and very pleasant to walkabout visiting temples, night markets or just sitting to sip coffee in the numerous french inspired cafes. The Laotians are very soft, quiet and conservative people. For a nation that has suffered so much from the wars and only recently opened up to the world, the calmness and tranquility was a pleasant surprise. There is not much big developments yet, but it still has a lot to offer to visitors/tourists. Highly recommend this nation as a holiday destination. Thank you Rinpoche for sharing extensively on what Laos has to offer to the world.

  8. Samfoonheei on Jun 25, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    Woa…..i did not know the country Loas is such a beautiful country till i read these wonderful post .Very informatative and would be helpful for anyone travelling there for the first time.i am one of them.There are so many Buddist temples around with beautiful and unique,different architectual styles depending on the location of the temples and monasteries.What i like most to see for myself is the unique Wat Xieng Thong with magnifient architectual and the elaoborate tree of life mosaic.Buddha Park and Mount Phousi to name a few.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing ,hoping more prople will visit this ecotourism country Loas.

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  • Pastor Lanse
    Sunday, Mar 24. 2019 01:30 PM
    This is an interesting read. When I grew up, I heard about paranormal activities in tunnels. Ialways thought that these are some kind of Asian believes. However, it seems that similar stories happen all over the world. Tunnels do always relate to paranormal activities. This article introduces a few famous creepy tunnels from all around the world with stories and photos. Hope you would enjoy reading it.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/paranormal/creepy-tunnels-2.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Mar 24. 2019 12:50 PM
    I am fortunate to come across this beautiful old post of His Eminence Kyabje Lati Rinpoche. H E Kyabje Lati Rinpoche has given many teachings and initiations for his fortunate students and had benefitted countless students. He has dedicated his whole life mainly on dharma practice and giving teachings. He has travelled extensively, benefiting dharma students in various parts of the world as requested from many countries in Europe and America. Our Guru too have received many tremendous teachings,and personal advice from this great master. H E Kyabje Lati Rinpoche has authored many important books on Tibetan Buddhism. At the age of 88, H E Kyabje Lati Rinpoche entered clear light, leaving a legacy behind him.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing and those rare pictures of the cremation of the holy body of H E Kyabje Lati Rinpoche.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/his-eminence-kyabje-lati-rinpoche-enters-clear-light.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Mar 24. 2019 12:49 PM
    Wonderful teachings of the meaning of OM MANI PADME HUNG. The Om Mani Padme Hung mantra is at the heart of many Buddhist traditions. When one recite the mantra Om Mani Padme Hung to oneself, it invokes the powerful benevolent attention and blessings of Chenrezig, the embodiment of compassion. It will then transform our impure body, speech, and mind.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this wonderful sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/the-meaning-of-om-mani-padme-hung.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Mar 24. 2019 12:47 PM
    Inspiring article ……sitting on a trishaw and giving teaching , sharing stories which Rinpoche encountered. Watched the video and its interesting. Rinpoche shared his unique relationship and stories with H E Kyabje Lati Rinpoche and H E Kensur Rinpoche Jetsun Jampa Yeshe. Beautiful memories of Rinpoche while on the train and a lesson from there.
    Turning negatives situation into positive and accept whatever comes along.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this precious teaching

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/me/the-train.html
  • Sofi
    Sunday, Mar 24. 2019 12:03 PM
    The Body of a Buddha: A Road Map to Liberation

    Learn how every single part of Buddha’s body and how it pertains to his enlightenment. Many interesting details that I have never known before. Definintely something we should read in our pursuit to be just the same as the Buddha.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rin
    poche/buddhas-dharma/the-body-of-a-buddha-a-road-map-to-liberation.html
  • Sofi
    Sunday, Mar 24. 2019 11:55 AM
    The Fifth Dalai Lama & Dorje Shugden | ༧གོང་ས་ལྔ་པ་ཆེན་པོ་དང་རྡོ་རྗེ་ཤུགས་ལྡན། | 第五世达赖尊者与多杰雄登

    Must read on what the great 5th Dalai Lama did in recognition of authentic Dorje Shugden. Such respect and reverence are shown to the enlightened protector of Lama Tsongkapa’s precious teachings.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/the-fifth-dalai-lama-dorje-shugden.html
  • Sofi
    Sunday, Mar 24. 2019 11:51 AM
    His Holiness the Dalai Lama again says it’s possible to have two Panchen Lamas

    Isn’t it great that the Dalai Lama had declared the China chosen Panchen Lama is a real reincarnation of the 10th Panchen Lama. It is no surprise given that this Panchen Lama’s enlightened actitivies had and is still greatly benefitting hundreds of thousand of people with the Dharma and practices. Find out more details of his recognition.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/his-holiness-the-dalai-lama-again-says-its-possible-to-have-two-panchen-lamas.html
  • Chris
    Sunday, Mar 24. 2019 08:25 AM
    It is time for Nechung to retire already. He has been the state oracle giving His Holiness the Dalai Lama advice and whose advice has been creating problems since the 13th Dalai Lama’s time. It was Nechung’s advice that actually led the 13th Dalai Lama to pass into clear light prematurely.

    Another example will be His Holiness’s escape from Tibet to India. Nechung took trance and told His Holiness the stay back in Tibet and there is no need for His Holiness to leave. However, Dorje Shugden oracle took trance and told His Holiness to leave Tibet immediately and even gave details on how they should leave Tibet.

    Luckily they heed Dorje Shugden advice and left Potala Palace heading towards to India. That very night, the Chinese invaded Potala Palace and if His Holiness heeds Nechung’s advice, he would be in grave danger. This shows the unreliability of Nechung’s advice recently.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/nechung-the-retiring-devil-of-tibet.html
  • Yee Yin
    Saturday, Mar 23. 2019 08:10 PM
    Dorje Shugden has a minister called Kache Marpo who is an emanation of Hayagriva which means Kache Marpo is also an enlightened protector. When the Oracle takes trance of Dorje Shugden, Dorje Shugden can only stay for a short while because his energy is very strong and he is not able to talk. Hence, Kache Marpo becomes the voice of Dorje Shugden. The Oracle and take trance of Kache Marpo and deliver messages to people on behalf of Dorje Shugden.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/who-is-kache-marpo.html
    [no sender]
  • Yee Yin
    Saturday, Mar 23. 2019 07:56 PM
    Many people suffer from the Dorje Shugden ban, Dorje Shugden followers regardless if they are Tibetans or not, they are discriminated against. They are segregated from the so-called ‘mainstream’, the Dalai Lama group. For me, I actually gain a lot from the ban. I don’t mean to say the ban is very beneficial or it is good, but there are lessons I have learnt from the ban.

    If there was no ban, I would never be able to really learn about what Guru Devotion is why is it so important. It also made me realise things are not always easy, it teaches us to value what we have and not to give up no matter how hard or difficult the situation might be. Our Guru’s promise to us is enlightenment, it is priceless and extremely precious. Hence, we should never abandon our teacher or give up the practice he gives us. I hope the ban can be lifted very soon so everyone can focus on Dharma practice and not the politics surrounding Dorje Shugden controversy.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/the-dalai-lama-speaks-clearly-about-the-dorje-shugden-ban.html
    [no sender]
  • Yee Yin
    Saturday, Mar 23. 2019 07:36 PM
    Women are always seen by society as the weaker ones, many still think their job is to take care of the family. Many high positions in a company are held by men because women are seen less capable. However, look at Dr. R. Nyamaa, she was the Mongolian pioneer Ophthalmologist, pioneer Doctor of Tuberculosis, Scientist, Honorary Professor of Medical University and Honorary Doctor of Mongolia and Folk Doctor. Women are equally capable as men, they have to be given the same opportunity to strive in the field the choose. We are in the 21st century, gender should not be a factor that stops people from pursuing what they want.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/dr-r-nyamaa-the-grande-dame-of-mongolian-medical-health.html
    [no sender]
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Mar 23. 2019 01:52 PM
    Wow….saffron is such a medicinal spice with so many amazing benefits. Such as for sleeping disorder, treatment of cancer, intestinal gas , depression, Alzheimer’s disease, and so forth. It seem that saffron is the most expensive spice in the world and it has been revered for its medicinal properties since ancient times. The aroma and flavour of saffron is unique and difficult to describe. It is an extremely labor-intensive crop. Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus. Great information to know that saffron is added to the water offerings on our shrine making the offerings more rich and beautiful.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/food-recipes/saffron.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Mar 23. 2019 01:51 PM
    As a child Rinpoche showed sign of speciality in a way. Rinpoche has had suffered abuses, problems and sufferings since young. Rinpoche has had experienced much more than anyone else. All the sufferings Rinpoche had gone through merely for the sake of preserving the Dorje Shugden lineage and to purify the obstacles arising from future practitioners and people he can benefit. Whatever Rinpoche encountered did not discourage Rinpoche from spreading Dharma to everyone of us and across the globe. Rinpoche’s guru devotion has inspired him to keep moving. We have Rinpoche to thanks for bringing Dharma to Malaysia. We are fortunate to learn, practice Dharma in this life time . With folded hands thank you Rinpoche.
    Thank you Pastor David Lai for this beautiful write up.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/tales-with-my-lama-why-rinpoche-has-to-suffer
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Mar 23. 2019 01:50 PM
    Interesting first time hearing this….. Buddhist monk hitting people with a broom to purify and clearing one’s obstacles . Different religion and faith have their own way of purifying and blessing. A more usual form of Thai blessing would be sprinkling water on the fore head. A monk who was seen forcefully hitting temple-goers heads with a broom is normal to them. Even though the smacking may look violent, but it didn’t harm anyone recording to the Buddhist monk. I have seen in Chinese temple, one or two occasion that the deity in trance using branches of leaves hitting temple-goers to bless them.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this interesting sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/buddhist-monk-hitting-people-with-a-broom
  • Sofi
    Saturday, Mar 23. 2019 05:46 AM
    Celebrities Ghost Stories (4) and Psychic Kids (2)

    Another interesting sharing of the celebrities’ personal experiences with the paranormal. Do share with us if you have experiences of your own as we love ghost stories especially when its real.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/film-tv-music/celebrities-ghost-stories-4-and-psychic-kids-2.html

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

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I must thank my dharma blog team who are great assets to me, Kechara and growth of dharma in this wonderful region. I am honoured and thrilled to work with them. I really am. Maybe I don't say it enough to them, but I am saying it now. I APPRECIATE THESE GUYS VERY MUCH!

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  Bigfoot, Yeti, Sasquatch

The Unknown

The Known and unknown are both feared,
Known is being comfortable and stagnant,
The unknown may be growth and opportunities,
One shall never know if one fears the unknown more than the known.
Who says the unknown would be worse than the known?
But then again, the unknown is sometimes worse than the known. In the end nothing is known unless we endeavour,
So go pursue all the way with the unknown,
because all unknown with familiarity becomes the known.
~Tsem Rinpoche

Photos On The Go

Click on the images to view the bigger version. And scroll down and click on "View All Photos" to view more images.
Everyday offerings of fresh cooked food and drinks are offered to awakened world peace protector Dorje Shugden on my shrine. It is my way to thank Him for all the help He has given to so many people throughout the decades I\'ve introduced Him to. It is my way to include Him as my family and a feeling of closeness and gratitude I have for Him. He\'s a revered family member who happens to be enlightened and also my close friend. Tsem Rinpoche (Food offering prayer~ https://bit.ly/1VkYXJa)
2 hours ago
Everyday offerings of fresh cooked food and drinks are offered to awakened world peace protector Dorje Shugden on my shrine. It is my way to thank Him for all the help He has given to so many people throughout the decades I've introduced Him to. It is my way to include Him as my family and a feeling of closeness and gratitude I have for Him. He's a revered family member who happens to be enlightened and also my close friend. Tsem Rinpoche (Food offering prayer~ https://bit.ly/1VkYXJa)
Read about this special Goddess Lok Yeay Mao of Cambodia. I came across her picture and found her very unique and blogged about it. Do enjoy the reading- https://bit.ly/2HR3vqi
21 hours ago
Read about this special Goddess Lok Yeay Mao of Cambodia. I came across her picture and found her very unique and blogged about it. Do enjoy the reading- https://bit.ly/2HR3vqi
March 18, 2019-Oser is very photogenic as usual.
7 days ago
March 18, 2019-Oser is very photogenic as usual.
March 18, 2019-Very cute Oser as usual.
7 days ago
March 18, 2019-Very cute Oser as usual.
Drashi Lhamo the terrifying female with the rolled out tongue- https://bit.ly/2J8S27y
2 weeks ago
Drashi Lhamo the terrifying female with the rolled out tongue- https://bit.ly/2J8S27y
Special prayer to Dorje Shugden composed by His Holiness 14th Dalai Lama- https://bit.ly/2QdaL4n
2 weeks ago
Special prayer to Dorje Shugden composed by His Holiness 14th Dalai Lama- https://bit.ly/2QdaL4n
On January 26, 2019, Venerable Arjia Rinpoche who is a close friend of the Dalai Lama asked the Tibetans to stop discriminating against people who practice Dorje Shugden and regionalism. His speech called for unity for the preservation of Tibet\'s unique culture and religion and all Tibetans should be friendly with each other regardless of religion and regional origins. His speech is powerful and much needed at this time. Very beautiful. Thank you Arjia Rinpoche. Please see here: https://bit.ly/2CdOz1A
2 weeks ago
On January 26, 2019, Venerable Arjia Rinpoche who is a close friend of the Dalai Lama asked the Tibetans to stop discriminating against people who practice Dorje Shugden and regionalism. His speech called for unity for the preservation of Tibet's unique culture and religion and all Tibetans should be friendly with each other regardless of religion and regional origins. His speech is powerful and much needed at this time. Very beautiful. Thank you Arjia Rinpoche. Please see here: https://bit.ly/2CdOz1A
Nice picture of Tsem Rinpoche with Lati Rinpoche and Kensur Rinpoche. Click on and enlarge.
2 weeks ago
Nice picture of Tsem Rinpoche with Lati Rinpoche and Kensur Rinpoche. Click on and enlarge.
Evolution starts with an inner revolution.~Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Evolution starts with an inner revolution.~Tsem Rinpoche
Our likes and dislikes are impermanent. Don\'t be stuck.~Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Our likes and dislikes are impermanent. Don't be stuck.~Tsem Rinpoche
I will always be loyal to my teacher, be with genuine friends, keep my spiritual commitments, share Dorje Shugden with those who need help and just be myself. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
I will always be loyal to my teacher, be with genuine friends, keep my spiritual commitments, share Dorje Shugden with those who need help and just be myself. Tsem Rinpoche
You can call me whatever you want,
but that won\'t change me.

~TsemRinpoche.com
3 weeks ago
You can call me whatever you want, but that won't change me. ~TsemRinpoche.com
I have so many wonderful stories, pictures, accounts & videos on bigfoot/yeti here: 
 https://bit.ly/2LjVZ6T
3 weeks ago
I have so many wonderful stories, pictures, accounts & videos on bigfoot/yeti here: https://bit.ly/2LjVZ6T
There is so much to see and read this in this category dedicated to animals. Let’s never harm animals and let’s not eat them anymore and allow them to live in happiness~Tsem Rinpoche- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
3 weeks ago
There is so much to see and read this in this category dedicated to animals. Let’s never harm animals and let’s not eat them anymore and allow them to live in happiness~Tsem Rinpoche- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
1997 in Kuala Lumpur. Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche and Tsem Rinpoche.
3 weeks ago
1997 in Kuala Lumpur. Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche and Tsem Rinpoche.
Another one to share..click on picture to view
3 weeks ago
Another one to share..click on picture to view
To share with you....
3 weeks ago
To share with you....
A special prayer on Tibet\'s Saint Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen to calm the mind daily. This short prayer was compassionately composed by His Holiness the 4th Panchen Lama of the great Tashilunpo Monastery. - 
 https://bit.ly/2ElkBZG
3 weeks ago
A special prayer on Tibet's Saint Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen to calm the mind daily. This short prayer was compassionately composed by His Holiness the 4th Panchen Lama of the great Tashilunpo Monastery. - https://bit.ly/2ElkBZG
Kyabje Zong Rinpoche with his two well known disciples. (Left) Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen and (right) Lama Yeshe. Both of them were very devoted to Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, their practice, their commitments and brought benefit to many beings throughout their lives. Very great beings. Read more about them-  https://bit.ly/2H2rylB
4 weeks ago
Kyabje Zong Rinpoche with his two well known disciples. (Left) Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen and (right) Lama Yeshe. Both of them were very devoted to Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, their practice, their commitments and brought benefit to many beings throughout their lives. Very great beings. Read more about them- https://bit.ly/2H2rylB
Many years ago, I had this 5ft Four-Armed Avalokitesvara made. It was done in Delhi, escorted to Tsem Ladrang in Gaden Shartse Monastery South India. Then my students and myself offered mantras, relics, jewels and brocades on this beautiful image as per tradition. Special rituals were done to consecrate it. Then I offered this image to the main shrine of Gaden Shartse Monstery for the sangha and visitors to pay homage to. The sangha and abbot were very happy. Till this day this beautiful image of compassion is still there in Gaden Shartse Monastery along with the many other thangkas, statues, repairs and offerings I had the honor to offer to the monastery. May all be blessed by Avalokitesvara, Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
Many years ago, I had this 5ft Four-Armed Avalokitesvara made. It was done in Delhi, escorted to Tsem Ladrang in Gaden Shartse Monastery South India. Then my students and myself offered mantras, relics, jewels and brocades on this beautiful image as per tradition. Special rituals were done to consecrate it. Then I offered this image to the main shrine of Gaden Shartse Monstery for the sangha and visitors to pay homage to. The sangha and abbot were very happy. Till this day this beautiful image of compassion is still there in Gaden Shartse Monastery along with the many other thangkas, statues, repairs and offerings I had the honor to offer to the monastery. May all be blessed by Avalokitesvara, Tsem Rinpoche
Back in the 90\'s this photo of Tsem Rinpoche was taken in Tsem Ladrang, Gaden Shartse Monastery in South India. Tsem Rinpoche was in his room writing letters for Gaden Shartse Monastery and their sponsors around the world. Tsem Rinpoche had raised much sponsorship for the monks and Gaden Shartse Monastery. Read more- https://bit.ly/2NfHJjQ
4 weeks ago
Back in the 90's this photo of Tsem Rinpoche was taken in Tsem Ladrang, Gaden Shartse Monastery in South India. Tsem Rinpoche was in his room writing letters for Gaden Shartse Monastery and their sponsors around the world. Tsem Rinpoche had raised much sponsorship for the monks and Gaden Shartse Monastery. Read more- https://bit.ly/2NfHJjQ
This is a statue of Lord Buddha Shakyamuni (Jowo Rinpoche) in Lhasa, Tibet. Tsongkapa had offered the crown, \'shirt\' and ornaments on this sacred Buddha. Offering ornaments on Buddha is considered highly meritorious. Many Buddhist countries have this tradition.
4 weeks ago
This is a statue of Lord Buddha Shakyamuni (Jowo Rinpoche) in Lhasa, Tibet. Tsongkapa had offered the crown, 'shirt' and ornaments on this sacred Buddha. Offering ornaments on Buddha is considered highly meritorious. Many Buddhist countries have this tradition.
In Myanmar, they also offer crowns,deocrative upper shirts and beautiful thrones to Lord Buddha Shakyamuni. Just like in Tibet. Tsem Rinpoche (photo 2)
4 weeks ago
In Myanmar, they also offer crowns,deocrative upper shirts and beautiful thrones to Lord Buddha Shakyamuni. Just like in Tibet. Tsem Rinpoche (photo 2)
In Myanmar, they also offer crowns,deocrative upper shirts and beautiful thrones to Lord Buddha Shakyamuni. Just like in Tibet. Tsem Rinpoche (photo 1)
4 weeks ago
In Myanmar, they also offer crowns,deocrative upper shirts and beautiful thrones to Lord Buddha Shakyamuni. Just like in Tibet. Tsem Rinpoche (photo 1)
This was Tsem Rinpoche with Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche in his house in Nepal. Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche was asking Tsem Rinpoche to give teachings in Gangchen Ladrang.
4 weeks ago
This was Tsem Rinpoche with Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche in his house in Nepal. Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche was asking Tsem Rinpoche to give teachings in Gangchen Ladrang.
Dorje Shugden\'s mantra is in Hindi, Tamil, Chinese, English and Nepali. We already have them in Tibetan. These mantra stones of various languages are displayed at the Dorje Shugden grotto so that people of all backgrounds who visit will find familiarity in the mantra. They feel a sense of welcome and closeness. Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
Dorje Shugden's mantra is in Hindi, Tamil, Chinese, English and Nepali. We already have them in Tibetan. These mantra stones of various languages are displayed at the Dorje Shugden grotto so that people of all backgrounds who visit will find familiarity in the mantra. They feel a sense of welcome and closeness. Tsem Rinpoche
Famous Nyitrul Rinpoche &Lama Thubten Phurbu 2019
4 weeks ago
Famous Nyitrul Rinpoche &Lama Thubten Phurbu 2019
Beautiful Vajra Yogini
4 weeks ago
Beautiful Vajra Yogini
This Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen statue is so stunning. It was a good idea to have a real brocade pandit\'s hat and brocade robes sewn for this image. It makes the image come to life. How nice to have such a Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen statue on our shrine with offerings and we recite the prayer to Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen daily to invoke his sacred blessings. This statue is on Martin\'s shrine. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
This Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen statue is so stunning. It was a good idea to have a real brocade pandit's hat and brocade robes sewn for this image. It makes the image come to life. How nice to have such a Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen statue on our shrine with offerings and we recite the prayer to Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen daily to invoke his sacred blessings. This statue is on Martin's shrine. Tsem Rinpoche
With deep devotion to the guru, higher meditational insights will arise. If one does not have deep devotion to the guru, it is a clear sign one does not have higher meditational insights.~Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
With deep devotion to the guru, higher meditational insights will arise. If one does not have deep devotion to the guru, it is a clear sign one does not have higher meditational insights.~Tsem Rinpoche
With deep devotion to the guru, higher meditational insights will arise. Because of not having higher meditational insights, one will not realize the need to have devotion to the guru in order to gain higher insights. They are interdependent.~Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
With deep devotion to the guru, higher meditational insights will arise. Because of not having higher meditational insights, one will not realize the need to have devotion to the guru in order to gain higher insights. They are interdependent.~Tsem Rinpoche
This is a school you MUST see! Amazing! What an opportunity for children. This is exactly what they need. Please read this- https://bit.ly/2tu4sfs
1 month ago
This is a school you MUST see! Amazing! What an opportunity for children. This is exactly what they need. Please read this- https://bit.ly/2tu4sfs
\"Hoichi the Earless Minstrel\" is a wonderful classic ghost story that is done artistically and very spiritually imbued. One of my favorites. The Amitabha shrine is beautiful. A must watch- https://bit.ly/2NgJUAs
1 month ago
"Hoichi the Earless Minstrel" is a wonderful classic ghost story that is done artistically and very spiritually imbued. One of my favorites. The Amitabha shrine is beautiful. A must watch- https://bit.ly/2NgJUAs
Amazing huge Amitabha Buddha on the “roof of Vietnam”-Such stunning photos- https://bit.ly/2Ed0s9n
1 month ago
Amazing huge Amitabha Buddha on the “roof of Vietnam”-Such stunning photos- https://bit.ly/2Ed0s9n
Be loyal to your guru. Be close to your guru. Be honest with your guru. Never give your guru excuses but always accomplish your assignments that your guru has given you. Be loving, devoted and sincere with your guru. If you conduct yourself in this way, you will see positive transformations in your mind. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
Be loyal to your guru. Be close to your guru. Be honest with your guru. Never give your guru excuses but always accomplish your assignments that your guru has given you. Be loving, devoted and sincere with your guru. If you conduct yourself in this way, you will see positive transformations in your mind. Tsem Rinpoche
Be loyal to your guru. Be close to your guru. Be honest with your guru. Never give your guru excuses but always accomplish your assignments that your guru has given you. Be loving, devoted and sincere with your guru. If you conduct yourself in this way, you will see positive transformations in your mind. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
Be loyal to your guru. Be close to your guru. Be honest with your guru. Never give your guru excuses but always accomplish your assignments that your guru has given you. Be loving, devoted and sincere with your guru. If you conduct yourself in this way, you will see positive transformations in your mind. Tsem Rinpoche
It is a must read on this incredible master Tagpu Pemavajra who was a great Mahasiddha- https://bit.ly/2Eagu3N
1 month ago
It is a must read on this incredible master Tagpu Pemavajra who was a great Mahasiddha- https://bit.ly/2Eagu3N
Photo-Rare form of Lady Sindongma or Simhamuka practised in the Bodong Sengdong lineage. Please read more on the practice and benefits of Fierce Goddess Singdongma and the protection She offers- https://bit.ly/2JTMc6O
1 month ago
Photo-Rare form of Lady Sindongma or Simhamuka practised in the Bodong Sengdong lineage. Please read more on the practice and benefits of Fierce Goddess Singdongma and the protection She offers- https://bit.ly/2JTMc6O
Would love to live here in the forest and have breakfast here daily
1 month ago
Would love to live here in the forest and have breakfast here daily
My Oser girl loves to sunbathe on the veranda.
1 month ago
My Oser girl loves to sunbathe on the veranda.
An alluring statue of the Goddess Ucheyma (Severed Head Vajra Yogini) has arrived for me. Take a look and be blessed! She is stunning!- https://bit.ly/2HZRhgx
1 month ago
An alluring statue of the Goddess Ucheyma (Severed Head Vajra Yogini) has arrived for me. Take a look and be blessed! She is stunning!- https://bit.ly/2HZRhgx
It says when the Buddha was born, all the gods, demigods and asura came to pay homage. Buddha proclaimed it will be his last rebirth in samsara. Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu all came to make offerings to a Universal Monarch (Buddha) during this most auspicious time. This is one of the depictions of that. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
It says when the Buddha was born, all the gods, demigods and asura came to pay homage. Buddha proclaimed it will be his last rebirth in samsara. Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu all came to make offerings to a Universal Monarch (Buddha) during this most auspicious time. This is one of the depictions of that. Tsem Rinpoche
Sacred Vajra Yogini stupa at Kechara Forest Retreat-Malaysia
2 months ago
Sacred Vajra Yogini stupa at Kechara Forest Retreat-Malaysia
Powerful outdoor Dorje Shugden statue at Kechara Forest Retreat-Malaysia
2 months ago
Powerful outdoor Dorje Shugden statue at Kechara Forest Retreat-Malaysia
Li Yu is incredibly creative, artistic, imaginative and really can patiently create a beautiful living space and so much art. Amazing-  https://bit.ly/2Ge6k3C
2 months ago
Li Yu is incredibly creative, artistic, imaginative and really can patiently create a beautiful living space and so much art. Amazing- https://bit.ly/2Ge6k3C
Our Medicine Buddha stops rain- https://bit.ly/2TnGFcG
2 months ago
Our Medicine Buddha stops rain- https://bit.ly/2TnGFcG
满愿护法多杰雄登: https://bit.ly/2G5xiKY
2 months ago
满愿护法多杰雄登: https://bit.ly/2G5xiKY
A brand new \"Wish-fulfilling Shrine\" just completed. Beautiful! Please see pictures and video-  https://bit.ly/2Sczh6v
2 months ago
A brand new "Wish-fulfilling Shrine" just completed. Beautiful! Please see pictures and video- https://bit.ly/2Sczh6v
Click on "View All Photos" above to view more images

Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
  • Beautiful
    7 days ago
    Beautiful
    Beautiful sacred Severed Head Vajra Yogini from Tsem Rinpoche's personal shrine.
  • My little monster cute babies Dharma and Oser. Take a look and get a cute attack for the day! Tsem Rinpoche
    1 week ago
    My little monster cute babies Dharma and Oser. Take a look and get a cute attack for the day! Tsem Rinpoche
  • Plse watch this short video and see how all sentient beings are capable of tenderness and love. We should never hurt animals nor should we eat them. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 weeks ago
    Plse watch this short video and see how all sentient beings are capable of tenderness and love. We should never hurt animals nor should we eat them. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Cruelty of some people have no limits and it’s heartbreaking. Being kind cost nothing. Tsem Rinpoche
    1 month ago
    Cruelty of some people have no limits and it’s heartbreaking. Being kind cost nothing. Tsem Rinpoche
  • SUPER ADORABLE and must see
    2 months ago
    SUPER ADORABLE and must see
    Tsem Rinpoche's dog Oser girl enjoying her snack in her play pen.
  • Cute!
    3 months ago
    Cute!
    Oser girl loves the balcony so much. - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTcoWpKJm2c
  • Uncle Wong
    3 months ago
    Uncle Wong
    We were told by Uncle Wong he is very faithful toward Dorje Shugden. Dorje Shugden has extended help to him on several occasions and now Uncle Wong comes daily to make incense offerings to Dorje Shugden. He is grateful towards the help he was given.
  • Tsem Rinpoche’s Schnauzer Dharma boy fights Robot sphere from Arkonide!
    3 months ago
    Tsem Rinpoche’s Schnauzer Dharma boy fights Robot sphere from Arkonide!
  • Cute baby owl found and rescued
    3 months ago
    Cute baby owl found and rescued
    We rescued a lost baby owl in Kechara Forest Retreat.
  • Nice cups from Kechara!!
    3 months ago
    Nice cups from Kechara!!
    Dorje Shugden people's lives matter!
  • Enjoy a peaceful morning at Kechara Forest Retreat
    3 months ago
    Enjoy a peaceful morning at Kechara Forest Retreat
    Chirping birds and other forest animals create a joyful melody at the Vajrayogini stupa in Kechara Forest Retreat (Bentong, Malaysia).
  • His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche makes offering of khata to Dorje Shugden.
    3 months ago
    His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche makes offering of khata to Dorje Shugden.
    Trijang Rinpoche never gave up his devotion to Dorje Shugden no matter how much Tibetan government in exile pressured him to give up. He stayed loyal inspiring so many of us.
  • Very rare video of His Holiness Panchen Rinpoche the 10th, the all knowing and compassionate one. I pay deep respects to this attained being who has taken many rebirths since the time of Lord Buddha to be of benefit to sentient beings tirelessly. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 months ago
    Very rare video of His Holiness Panchen Rinpoche the 10th, the all knowing and compassionate one. I pay deep respects to this attained being who has taken many rebirths since the time of Lord Buddha to be of benefit to sentient beings tirelessly. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This bigfoot researcher gives good reasonings on bigfoot. Interesting short video.
    3 months ago
    This bigfoot researcher gives good reasonings on bigfoot. Interesting short video.
  • His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche of Gaden Shartse Monastery was one of the teachers of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. Here in this beautiful video is Geshe Kelsang Gyatso showing his centre to Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, then proceeding to sit down to receive teachings. For more information- https://bit.ly/2QNac1u
    3 months ago
    His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche of Gaden Shartse Monastery was one of the teachers of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. Here in this beautiful video is Geshe Kelsang Gyatso showing his centre to Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, then proceeding to sit down to receive teachings. For more information- https://bit.ly/2QNac1u
  • Tsem Rinpoche’s dog, Oser girl always sits on Rinpoche’s chair. When Rinpoche’s other dog, Dharma tries to get into the chair, he is chased away. Oser is the boss. She is possessive. Cute.
    4 months ago
    Tsem Rinpoche’s dog, Oser girl always sits on Rinpoche’s chair. When Rinpoche’s other dog, Dharma tries to get into the chair, he is chased away. Oser is the boss. She is possessive. Cute.
  • Lama Yeshe talks about how to practice at the beginning and at the end of each day during teachings given in London during the Lamas’ first European teaching tour in 1975. Lama Yeshe was a brilliant teacher and I wanted to share this with everyone so his teachings can reach more people. Tsem Rinpoche
    4 months ago
    Lama Yeshe talks about how to practice at the beginning and at the end of each day during teachings given in London during the Lamas’ first European teaching tour in 1975. Lama Yeshe was a brilliant teacher and I wanted to share this with everyone so his teachings can reach more people. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Our beautiful Dorje Shugden shop in the busiest part of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Many tourists visit our store and this area.
    4 months ago
    Our beautiful Dorje Shugden shop in the busiest part of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Many tourists visit our store and this area.
  • Living off the grid in Australia
    4 months ago
    Living off the grid in Australia
    A Jill Redwood is a jack of all trades, Jill built her own house on her property and lives entirely off the grid with no mains power or town water, mobile reception or television. Living on around $80 a week, Jill has over sixty animals to keep her company and an abundant garden that out serves as an organic supermarket right at her doorstep. Her main expenses are animal feed and the rates on her property. Watch this incredible three minute video and be inspired to live differently.
  • Kyabje Dagom Choktrul Rinpoche offering gold on a 350 year-old Dorje Shugden statue in his chapel in Lhasa. This is how Tibetans show homage and pay respect to a holy image. This chapel and statue of Dorje Shugden in Lhasa dedicated to Dorje Shugden was built by the Great 5th Dalai Lama. Tsem Rinpoche
    4 months ago
    Kyabje Dagom Choktrul Rinpoche offering gold on a 350 year-old Dorje Shugden statue in his chapel in Lhasa. This is how Tibetans show homage and pay respect to a holy image. This chapel and statue of Dorje Shugden in Lhasa dedicated to Dorje Shugden was built by the Great 5th Dalai Lama. Tsem Rinpoche
  • My sweet little Oser girl is so photogenic and adorable. Tsem Rinpoche
    4 months ago
    My sweet little Oser girl is so photogenic and adorable. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Heart Sutra sang by a monk for the modern crowd. Very interesting and beautiful. Tsem Rinpoche
    4 months ago
    Heart Sutra sang by a monk for the modern crowd. Very interesting and beautiful. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Submerging powerful mantra stones in water at Kechara Forest Retreat in Malaysia.
    4 months ago
    Submerging powerful mantra stones in water at Kechara Forest Retreat in Malaysia.
  • Wylfred explains in Chinese the benefits of mantra stones at Kechara Forest Retreat-Malaysia   |  黄明川以华语解释在马来西亚克切拉禅修林的玛尼堆(刻有心咒的石头)的利益
    4 months ago
    Wylfred explains in Chinese the benefits of mantra stones at Kechara Forest Retreat-Malaysia | 黄明川以华语解释在马来西亚克切拉禅修林的玛尼堆(刻有心咒的石头)的利益
  • My Oser girl and Dharma boy love the verandah where they can see the greens. Tsem Rinpoche
    4 months ago
    My Oser girl and Dharma boy love the verandah where they can see the greens. Tsem Rinpoche
  • If there were more schools like this, then our kids would grow up with more caring awareness and kind emotions towards our environment and the people around them. They would grow up knowing that chasing materialism is not going to bring any happiness. I hope very much more schools like this would materialise. I hope in my future life I can attend a school like this. Tsem Rinpoche
    4 months ago
    If there were more schools like this, then our kids would grow up with more caring awareness and kind emotions towards our environment and the people around them. They would grow up knowing that chasing materialism is not going to bring any happiness. I hope very much more schools like this would materialise. I hope in my future life I can attend a school like this. Tsem Rinpoche
  • My Oser girl and Dharma boy in their cosy little bedroom next to me sleeping away. Cute.
    5 months ago
    My Oser girl and Dharma boy in their cosy little bedroom next to me sleeping away. Cute.
  • It is incredible how smart Oser girl is. She can steal the treat away from Dharma boy and so casually. Wow. She is so smart. Tsem Rinpoche
    5 months ago
    It is incredible how smart Oser girl is. She can steal the treat away from Dharma boy and so casually. Wow. She is so smart. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Kechara Forest Retreat Dogs. Dharma boy is tiny and trying to scare off big boy Johnny. Johnny is so patient and just ignores Dharma. They are both cute and both live in Kechara Forest Retreat-Malaysia. Tsem Rinpoche
    5 months ago
    Kechara Forest Retreat Dogs. Dharma boy is tiny and trying to scare off big boy Johnny. Johnny is so patient and just ignores Dharma. They are both cute and both live in Kechara Forest Retreat-Malaysia. Tsem Rinpoche
  • BREAKING EYEWITNESS FOOTAGE: Workers violently punched, kicked, cussed out, & left sheep to die on dozens of Scottish farms 💔 Sheep bled after rough shearing & were stitched up without painkillers.–From Peta2
    5 months ago
    BREAKING EYEWITNESS FOOTAGE: Workers violently punched, kicked, cussed out, & left sheep to die on dozens of Scottish farms 💔 Sheep bled after rough shearing & were stitched up without painkillers.–From Peta2
  • This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    1 years ago
    This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    This video is thought-provoking and very interesting. Watch! Thanks so much to our friends at LIVEKINDLY.
  • Chiropractic CHANGES LIFE for teenager with acute PAIN & DEAD LEG.
    1 years ago
    Chiropractic CHANGES LIFE for teenager with acute PAIN & DEAD LEG.
  • BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE-AMAZING.
    1 years ago
    BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE-AMAZING.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
    1 years ago
    Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
  • Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
    1 years ago
    Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
  • Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
    1 years ago
    Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    1 years ago
    This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    she received “one last visit from an old friend” 💔💔
  • Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
    1 years ago
    Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
  • Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
    1 years ago
    Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
  • Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant  Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
    1 years ago
    Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
  • Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
    1 years ago
    Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
  • Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
    1 years ago
    Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
  • What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    1 years ago
    What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    Sick animals are more profitable... farms calculate how close to death they can keep animals without killing them. That's the business model. How quickly they can be made to grow, how tightly they can be packed, how much or how little can they eat, how sick they can get without dying... We live in a world in which it's conventional to treat an animal like a block of wood. ~ Jonathan Safran Foer
  • This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
    1 years ago
    This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
  • SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    1 years ago
    SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    This happens daily in slaughterhouse so you can get your pork and Bak ku teh. Stop eating meat.

ASK A PASTOR


Ask the Pastors

A section for you to clarify your Dharma questions with Kechara’s esteemed pastors.

Just post your name and your question below and one of our pastors will provide you with an answer.

Scroll down and click on "View All Questions" to view archived questions.

View All Questions

CHAT PICTURES

Thank you very much to ICIMB for your kind donation and also for joining our #food #distribution last night. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
6 hours ago
Thank you very much to ICIMB for your kind donation and also for joining our #food #distribution last night. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Small but great team from Qi Resources. They were here earlier to assist us with #surplus #food #rescue. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
yesterday
Small but great team from Qi Resources. They were here earlier to assist us with #surplus #food #rescue. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Lastly, we hope sponsors' wishes be fulfilled and at the same time we keep generating merits through this event to fuel our mind transformation. That's how we can support our Lama H.E. The 25th Tsem Tulku Rinpoche’s work, fulfil His wishes and extend His life. Thanks to all. KPSG~Jacinta
yesterday
Lastly, we hope sponsors' wishes be fulfilled and at the same time we keep generating merits through this event to fuel our mind transformation. That's how we can support our Lama H.E. The 25th Tsem Tulku Rinpoche’s work, fulfil His wishes and extend His life. Thanks to all. KPSG~Jacinta
Imagine being constraint for so long. Unlike the brave and the bold ones, it takes longer for these timid birds to fly off. Join us in our monthly Kechara Penang Study Group’s Bird Liberation event. KPSG ~Jacinta
yesterday
Imagine being constraint for so long. Unlike the brave and the bold ones, it takes longer for these timid birds to fly off. Join us in our monthly Kechara Penang Study Group’s Bird Liberation event. KPSG ~Jacinta
Happy seeing them flying off. KPSG~ Jacinta
yesterday
Happy seeing them flying off. KPSG~ Jacinta
A monthly event not to be missed. It has taught us compassion, love and the wish to alleviate the sufferings of all beings. A priceless lesson for us all while generating merits to fuel our spiritual path further. Thanks to those who came early for this event. KPSG ~ Jacinta
yesterday
A monthly event not to be missed. It has taught us compassion, love and the wish to alleviate the sufferings of all beings. A priceless lesson for us all while generating merits to fuel our spiritual path further. Thanks to those who came early for this event. KPSG ~ Jacinta
This afternoon, Kechara Penang Study Group has liberated 16 birds. Through this monthly event, we hope many more can join us and do call us for more info. KPSG ~ Jacinta Goh
yesterday
This afternoon, Kechara Penang Study Group has liberated 16 birds. Through this monthly event, we hope many more can join us and do call us for more info. KPSG ~ Jacinta Goh
Students love dharma class and all other activities. Lin Mun KSDS
yesterday
Students love dharma class and all other activities. Lin Mun KSDS
Teacher Alice gave an introduction on Tsem Tulku Rinpoche, the founder of Kechara. Lin Mun KSDS
yesterday
Teacher Alice gave an introduction on Tsem Tulku Rinpoche, the founder of Kechara. Lin Mun KSDS
Teacher Melinda teaching the students of 3-6 years old. Lin Mun KSDS
yesterday
Teacher Melinda teaching the students of 3-6 years old. Lin Mun KSDS
Teenage students enjoyed the Nagomi art session. Lin Mun KSDS
yesterday
Teenage students enjoyed the Nagomi art session. Lin Mun KSDS
Teacher Laura leading the youngest group to do prostration during Sunday class. Lin Mun KSDS
yesterday
Teacher Laura leading the youngest group to do prostration during Sunday class. Lin Mun KSDS
Children as young as 3 years old can join the weekly Sunday Dharma classes in Kechara. Lin Mun KSDS
yesterday
Children as young as 3 years old can join the weekly Sunday Dharma classes in Kechara. Lin Mun KSDS
Thank you very much to Methodist College Kuala Lumpur students for assisting us in admin work today. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 days ago
Thank you very much to Methodist College Kuala Lumpur students for assisting us in admin work today. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Thank you very much to staffs from Munchy's for participating in our #foodbank delivery today and also not forgetting their sponsorship of biscuits and croissants to the needy family. #volunteerism #csr #kualalumpur - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
3 days ago
Thank you very much to staffs from Munchy's for participating in our #foodbank delivery today and also not forgetting their sponsorship of biscuits and croissants to the needy family. #volunteerism #csr #kualalumpur - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
4 days ago
Thank you very much to Shirley and friends for sponsoring apples and oranges for out street clients. The fruits came right on time on this hot and dry weather to quench their thirst. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
5 days ago
Thank you very much to Shirley and friends for sponsoring apples and oranges for out street clients. The fruits came right on time on this hot and dry weather to quench their thirst. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
A big thanks to Alicia Yap for assisting us with food surplus distribution at Kg. Muhibbah, Puchong today. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
6 days ago
A big thanks to Alicia Yap for assisting us with food surplus distribution at Kg. Muhibbah, Puchong today. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Kechara Sunday Dharma School KSDS Together We Care , teacher Lin Mun the teenage class's teacher.by Asyley Chia KSDS
6 days ago
Kechara Sunday Dharma School KSDS Together We Care , teacher Lin Mun the teenage class's teacher.by Asyley Chia KSDS
Kechara Sunday Dharma School Class start with full prostration , learning with With devotion we prostrate with body, speech, and mind. It helps to plant the seeds of learning dharma.by Asyley Chia KSDS
6 days ago
Kechara Sunday Dharma School Class start with full prostration , learning with With devotion we prostrate with body, speech, and mind. It helps to plant the seeds of learning dharma.by Asyley Chia KSDS
Kechara Sunday Dharma School Class start with full prostration , learning with With devotion we prostrate with body, speech, and mind. It helps to plant the seeds of learning dharma.by Asyley Chia KSDS
6 days ago
Kechara Sunday Dharma School Class start with full prostration , learning with With devotion we prostrate with body, speech, and mind. It helps to plant the seeds of learning dharma.by Asyley Chia KSDS
Kechara Sunday Dharma School Class start with full prostration , learning with With devotion we prostrate with body, speech, and mind. It helps to plant the seeds of learning dharma.by Asyley Chia KSDS
6 days ago
Kechara Sunday Dharma School Class start with full prostration , learning with With devotion we prostrate with body, speech, and mind. It helps to plant the seeds of learning dharma.by Asyley Chia KSDS
A big thanks for Karlson's mommy( Any Loh Yen Nee) for the photos, they are great and so many lovely ones to pick from. Thank you very much .Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
6 days ago
A big thanks for Karlson's mommy( Any Loh Yen Nee) for the photos, they are great and so many lovely ones to pick from. Thank you very much .Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
A big thanks for Karlson's mommy( Any Loh Yen Nee) for the photos, they are great and so many lovely ones to pick from. Thank you very much .Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
6 days ago
A big thanks for Karlson's mommy( Any Loh Yen Nee) for the photos, they are great and so many lovely ones to pick from. Thank you very much .Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
A big thanks for Karlson's mommy( Any Loh Yen Nee) for the photos, they are great and so many lovely ones to pick from. Thank you very much .Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
6 days ago
A big thanks for Karlson's mommy( Any Loh Yen Nee) for the photos, they are great and so many lovely ones to pick from. Thank you very much .Photos credit : Any Loh Yen Nee. By Asyley Chia KSDS
The Promise
  These books will change your life
  Tsem Rinpoche's Long Life Prayer by H.H. Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche
  Support Blog Team
Lamps For Life
  Robe Offerings
  Vajrayogini Stupa Fund
  White Tara Mantra Bank Project
  Rinpoche's Medical Fund
  Dana Offerings
  Soup Kitchen Project
 
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Dorje Shugden
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