After breakfast, we start our hunt for bicycles, asking price seemed to be a standard 20,000 kip ( ~RM8) per day, then we saw some eye catching orange bikes in front of a pharmacist, they looked well maintained, and although we thought they might be even more expensive, we just have to give it a try and voila, after a bit of persuasion, the auntie let us have the bike for 15,000kip. The height of the bikes were adjusted and we were even allowed a test drive ( well, it seemed like if you know how to ride a bicycle, you will remember how to get on one for life !) .
Before we left the shop, auntie reminded us a few times to make sure that we lock the bikes ( locks provided) whenever we leave them, even for a few minutes.
Luang Prabang is suitable for bicycle riding, traffic is not that heavy and it sure beat walking !
We stopped by at Wat Saen (VatSensuokharam). The slopping roofs characteristic of temples in Laos ( NB :You can see our orange bikes in the picture below.)
There was a large standing Buddha statues housed in the structure beside the main building
Dragon boats ?
Elaborate gold and red motifs on the door and walls
And beside Wat Sean was Wat Sop
Extracted from http://www.asiaexplorers.com/laos/wat-sop.htm : Wat Sop is said to have been built by King Theng Kham, who reigned from 1479-86, to commemorate the death of his father, King Sao Takaphat Phene Phao, who reigned from 1438-79. King Sao Takaphat was killed in battle. Wat Sop has been renovated a few times since then. Its gable is decorated with gold leafy design. The sim was expanded in the 1950s with the addition of side peristyles.
Inside the sim of Wat Sop
We push out bikes from Wat Sop and next door was Wat Sirimungkhun , which seemed defy the law of symmetry as the left section of the sloping roof is not present ( not sure by intention or otherwise)
Inside the sim
The sim of Wat Sean wasn’t open so we could not get a glimpse, but from what we saw at Wat Sop, Wat Sirimungkhun ( and the following Wat Si Bun Heaung) , the condition inside the sim was kinda dilapidated, some had that musky smell of wet carpets, carpets were bare, there were no entrance fee for the 5 temples mentioned in this post. We didn’t come across any tourist to these temple during our time of visit probably because these ( maybe except Wat Saen) are smaller / low profile. So, please come and visit and donate generously 😀
Beside Wat Sirimungkhun was Wat Si Bun Heaung , sadly, I can’t find much info on the net about this ‘lesser known’ temple, Wat Si Bun Heaung had this marvelous looking doh si far (the yellow pointy arrow thingies) on the roof meaning royal patronage
Inside the sim
We were attracted by a non-wat looking white colonial styled building across the road from the rows of temples we visited , this is Wat Souvanna Khiri or Wat Khiri which means Monastery of the Golden Mountain. Pix below showing the sim and the colonial building which was the monks living quarters. Wat Souvanna Khiri was built in 1773 by Chao Kham Sattha
They were having a pictorial exhibition ( forgot the details) at Wat Khili where we had a chance to looked at the old ( reprints) pictures of monks /monastry life . below is one of the pix at the exhibition , i hope i am not infringing in any copyright law by posting this here , if so,this pix below will be removed