This is an area which is just 30 kilometers away from the city Pakse in southern Laos. Today, access to this area is done by boats or a ferry which are able to move a vehicle between the two banks of the Mekong River.  In the near future there will be a significant change since the new road being built in the area includes a bridge over the river.

 

Eyal hails from Israel  where he works hard half the year, saving to spend the other half of the year using Thailand as a base to travel throughout South East Asia.  Eyal has had a strong interest insubmission writing and photography and has corresponded with me for years, asking questions, taking notes, and working up to this submission.  Writing in a second language is never easy, and often it's very difficult.  For some of us impossible.  To keep such good records and document the trip so well, and then to put the work in to share with the readers is very much appreciated.  I hope to see more ofhis work grace future columns.  You can contact Eyal via email at lotfaifa@yahoo.com

Eyal hails from Israel  where he works hard half the year, saving to spend the other half of the year using Thailand as a base to travel throughout South East Asia.  Eyal has had a strong interest insubmission writing and photography and has corresponded with me for years, asking questions, taking notes, and working up to this submission.  Writing in a second language is never easy, and often it's very difficult.  For some of us impossible.  To keep such good records and document the trip so well, and then to put the work in to share with the readers is very much appreciated.  I hope to see more ofhis work grace future columns.  You can contact Eyal via email at lotfaifa@yahoo.com

 

 

This is an area which is just 30 kilometers away from the city Pakse in southern Laos. Today, access to this area is done by boats or a ferry which are able to move a vehicle between the two banks of the Mekong River.  In the near future there will be a significant change since the new road being built in the area includes a bridge over the river. 

Champasak is a fairly large rural area with mainly rice crops.  

This unique place is related to the distant past. Temples of the large arch extends over a sizeable area.  The temple known as Vat Phou. This is the only Khmer temple in Laos.  The Temple covers a large area at the foot of a high mountain and is built in a gradual manner.  The location of the temple was chosen carefully with the characteristic stone temples that appear in Cambodia. 

There is an architectural plan for the temple compound.  Ingenious engineering design achieved several goals at the same time.  In the first stage using locally quarried stone mountain area spared costly transport suitable stone from far away.  Every building of local stone in the temple site.  In the second phase while huge rock surfaces have been removed.  In this way all changed and adapted the original surface and incorporated into the architectural program.  Shows the view from all levels top fruit arranged in-depth planning. 

Like elsewhere in the universe this temple indicates the limits of the spread of the mighty Khmer Empire.  Surprisingly, the view from the top of the temple mentions other areas in Cambodia.  Entering the site you’ll find a museum containing artifacts found at the site.  The Museum was built by the Government of Japan.  In Laos the Government of Japan is involved in many projects such as building schools and paving roads and more. 

These days there is an important project in Vat Phou archeological site. Due to ground movement over the years are two huge buildings in danger of collapse on the lower level.  The walls tend to lean on their side and need to dismantle parts of the structure and build the walls again. This is a joint project of the Government of India Government of Laos that combines conservation and restoration and rescue of the Vat Phou temple.  In parallel more projects are involved in conservation and restoration teams from Italy and France. These projects are very expensive and require professionals and a significant length of time.  Visiting Vat Phou was fascinating and shows some of the glory days of the Khmer Empire. 

 

Cross the Mekong river to Champasak.  Today you must use the service of the small boats or the ferry.  In the near future there is going to be a bridge over the Mekong.

Cross the Mekong river to Champasak.  Today you must use the service of the small boats or the ferry.  In the near future there is going to be a bridge over the Mekong.

Cross the Mekong river to Champasak.  Today you must use the service of the small boats or the ferry.  In the near future there is going to be a bridge over the Mekong.

 

Cross the Mekong river to Champasak.  Today you must use the service of the small boats or the ferry.  In the near future there is going to be a bridge over the Mekong.

 

Atthe entrance to the museum there is this sign indicate the contribution of the Japanese Government for Vat Phou archeological site.

 

At the entrance to the museum there is this sign indicate the contribution of the Japanese Government for Vat Phou archeological site.

 

Entering the temple complex. There is a paved entrance to the temple area.

Entering the temple complex. There is a paved entrance to the temple area.

 

Entering the temple complex. There is a paved entrance to the temple area.

 

The same entrance captured from a different level in the temple.

 

The same entrance captured from a different level in the temple.

 

This picture says it all.  The biggest project in the site is supported by the Government of the Republic of India. Vat Phou northern quadrangle is one of two big building you see when you enter the temple complex.

 

This picture says it all.  The biggest project in the site is supported by the Government of the Republic of India. Vat Phou northern quadrangle is one of two big building you see when you enter the temple complex.

 

Conservation and restoration are in one of this big building.  Since this kind of work takes a lot of effort usually the effort is put in one place at the time.

Conservation and restoration are in one of this big building.  Since this kind of work takes a lot of effort usually the effort is put in one place at the time.

 

Conservation and restoration are in one of this big building.  Since this kind of work takes a lot of effort usually the effort is put in one place at the time.

 

The second big building in the northern quadrangle.  Conservation works didnt start yet on this complex.

 

The second big building in the northern quadrangle.  Conservation works didnt start yet on this complex. 

 

Due to ground movement over the years are two huge buildings in danger of collapse. The walls tend on their side and need to dismantle parts of the structure and build the walls again.  Each line of stones is taken out, marked, and restored until the structure is rebuilt again.

Due to ground movement over the years are two huge buildings in danger of collapse. The walls tend on their side and need to dismantle parts of the structure and build the walls again.  Each line of stones is taken out, marked, and restored until the structure is rebuilt again.

 

Due to ground movement over the years are two huge buildings in danger of collapse. The walls tend on their side and need to dismantle parts of the structure and build the walls again.  Each line of stones is taken out, marked, and restored until the structure is rebuilt again.

 

 The second building in the northern quadrangle.  The entrance just collapsed.

The second building in the northern quadrangle.  The entrance just collapsed.

 

The second building in the northern quadrangle.  The entrance just collapsed.

 

Since it’s a lot of heavy stones there is a real need to use heavy duty machine to remove and rebuild those very heavy stones of the temple complex.

Since it’s a lot of heavy stones there is a real need to use heavy duty machine to remove and rebuild those very heavy stones of the temple complex.

Since it’s a lot of heavy stones there is a real need to use heavy duty machine to remove and rebuild those very heavy stones of the temple complex.

 

Since it’s a lot of heavy stones there is a real need to use heavy duty machine to remove and rebuild those very heavy stones of the temple complex.

 

Restoration of the first building entrance.

 

Restoration of the first building entrance.

 

Handmade.  Restoration of architecture element.  It’s a lot of work. This work takes a lot of time.

 

Handmade.  Restoration of architecture element.  It’s a lot of work. This work takes a lot of time.

 

Another project in the same site.  It’s an Lao-Italian project.

Another project in the same site.  It’s an Lao-Italian project.

Another project in the same site.  It’s an Lao-Italian project.

Another project in the same site.  It’s an Lao-Italian project.

 

Another project in the same site.  It’s an Lao-Italian project.

 

Going up to the second level.

Going up to the second level.

 

Going up to the second level. 

 

Next week we’ll run the second part of this interesting feature!