Monks, Cambodia

When orange was my favourite colour…

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Travelling Lao together with a friend, we were most excited about the Lao culture which is deeply connected to the lives and traditions of the monks and novices.

Traditionally every male Lao is ment to stay at a wat (buddhist temple) once in his life. They do not only join a wat for spiritual reasons or because they want to become a monk for a lifetime. Some only stay for a couple of days or weeks to destress and detache from negative or traumatic experience.

As Lao still is a very poor country, becoming a monk ensures a minimum of food and a place to sleep and stay. Many families send their sons to the wat, since they cannot afford to bring them up at home.

All monks are very shy, calm and attentive. They get up early in the mornings for their meditation and leave the wat around 6 am in the morning to collect the donations from the people living in the town (mostly rice or other food). The people deeply respect the monks and support them in their everyday poor live with their donations.

I saw some very poor kids and elder people, who the monks would even share their donations with.

As monks may not be touched by women, my friend and I were very timid to get in touch with the monks. But after we spend some days in Luang Prabang, we talked times to some monks. Most of them were very young and very shy to talk to us. Yet, after giving it some time, we talked to them a bit and they really enjoyed to practise their English and ask about our lives… which was so strange for them, that they hardly knew, what to ask.

Natural mirror, Lao

Lao’s natural mirror

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I was on a boat trip in northern Laos, when suddenly we had this beautiful river view. Whenever I look at this picture I can hardly believe how perfectly mirrored this landscape is. I can still feel the quietness and pureness of this moment.

Frangipani, Borneo

What is your scent of beauty?

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Frangipani Рever since I first smelt this flower, I was overwhelmed. To me it is the scent of purity and beauty. Frangipanis, mainly grow in South East Asia and are the national flower of several countries. It is said, that this flower is named after an italian medieval parfumer family, the Frangipani.

Every time I travel Asia I can’t wait to enjoy the scent again. Luckily they are easy to find.¬†In Europe it is really hard to discover this odor. Only once I was lucky and found a tiny soap factory in Vienna, which produced a piece of soap for me with Frangipani odor.

The natural and pure scent though can’t be rebuilt. Maybe also because smell and taste don’t travel. They can appear in an instance though and bring you back immediately to where you experienced it once.