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

 

 

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 in submission 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 of his 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 in submission 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 of his 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.

Part 2 continues:

 

Going up to the third level in the temple complex.  There were a few houses here made of bricks.  Over the years they fall down.  A few statues of Buddha remind us the heads were cut out and sold in the antique market.

Going up to the third level in the temple complex.  There were a few houses here made of bricks.  Over the years they fall down.  A few statues of Buddha remind us the heads were cut out and sold in the antique market.

Going up to the third level in the temple complex.  There were a few houses here made of bricks.  Over the years they fall down.  A few statues of Buddha remind us the heads were cut out and sold in the antique market.

Going up to the third level in the temple complex.  There were a few houses here made of bricks.  Over the years they fall down.  A few statues of Buddha remind us the heads were cut out and sold in the antique market.

Going up to the third level in the temple complex.  There were a few houses here made of bricks.  Over the years they fall down.  A few statues of Buddha remind us the heads were cut out and sold in the antique market.

Going up to the third level in the temple complex.  There were a few houses here made of bricks.  Over the years they fall down.  A few statues of Buddha remind us the heads were cut out and sold in the antique market.

 

The power of nature.

The power of nature.

The power of nature.

 

Going up to level 4.  There is another temple up there which needs restoration and conservation attention.

Going up to level 4.  There is another temple up there which needs restoration and conservation attention.

Going up to level 4.  There is another temple up there which needs restoration and conservation attention.

Going up to level 4.  There is another temple up there which needs restoration and conservation attention.

 

The famous Apsara dancer.

The famous Apsara dancer.

The famous Apsara dancer.

 

Entering the temple I found out that is temple is actually in use by the local population.

Entering the temple I found out that is temple is actually in use by the local population.

Entering the temple I found out that is temple is actually in use by the local population.

Entering the temple I found out that is temple is actually in use by the local population.

Entering the temple I found out that is temple is actually in use by the local population.

Entering the temple I found out that is temple is actually in use by the local population.

 

Khmer security in the entrance of the temple.

Khmer security in the entrance of the temple.

 

This temple on the 4 level of the complex need also a serious restoration.  Due to ground movement over the years and the heavy stones. the whole building slowly collapse.

This temple on the 4 level of the complex need also a serious restoration.  Due to ground movement over the years and the heavy stones. the whole building slowly collapse.

This temple on the 4 level of the complex need also a serious restoration.  Due to ground movement over the years and the heavy stones. the whole building slowly collapse.

This temple on the 4 level of the complex need also a serious restoration.  Due to ground movement over the years and the heavy stones. the whole building slowly collapse.

 

It’s not the end.  There is a fifth level.  For sure there is a meaning to all of this stages.  It look more interesting and mysterious.

It’s not the end.  There is a fifth level.  For sure there is a meaning to all of this stages.  It look more interesting and mysterious.

It’s not the end.  There is a fifth level.  For sure there is a meaning to all of this stages.  It look more interesting and mysterious.

 

Look from above.  The forth level.  The landscape is beautiful.

Look from above.  The forth level.  The landscape is beautiful.

Look from above.  The forth level.  The landscape is beautiful.

Look from above.  The forth level.  The landscape is beautiful.

 

How did the Khmers do it?  They used the local nature stones.  Cut it to the size that they want.  That was the 'basic material’ to create all the architectural elements.

How did the Khmers do it?  They used the local nature stones.  Cut it to the size that they want.  That was the 'basic material’ to create all the architectural elements.

How did the Khmers do it?  They used the local nature stones.  Cut it to the size that they want.  That was the 'basic material’ to create all the architectural elements.

 

If I forget to say, this is way I like the Khmer art A LOT. Its special.

If I forget to say, this is way I like the Khmer art A LOT. Its special.

Eyal –

Thank you for a very interesting two part experience at Champasak!  Very nice.  Your travels are fun.

Steve