One of the allures of Laos is its deeply rooted Buddhist heritage. Buddhism is the fourth largest religion in the world with over 520 million followers predominately in Asia. However there is no where in the world where the Buddhist monks are as revered and the temples as carefully tended as in Laos. Buddhism is not just a belief system, but it is a way of life and an important part of the Lao people’s daily ritual.
My first visit to China during a tour of the North East province of Heilongjiang was fantastic and surprising. The capital, Harbin is just as beautiful as any European city with its wide avenues, romantic architecture and decorative street lamps. This backdrop is contrasted with the grit and grime of a mainland Chinese city, with the street markets frying up an appetite and people from all walks of the rat race just trying to make a buck. Venture outside of Harbin and there is a world of unexpected beauty, from watching the regal red crowned cranes take flight to reverently washing your face in the spiritual waters of the volcanic temple. Please join me as I recall some of the photographic highlights of my trip.