Royal palace entrance, Luang Prabang, Laos
View of the Royal Palace of Luang Prabang entrance from Sisavangvong road. The golden temple is Vat haw Pha Bang. The Royal Palace (official name "Haw Kham") in Luang Prabang, Laos, was built in 1904 during the French colonial era for King Sisavang Vong and his family. The site for the palace was chosen so that official visitors to Luang Prabang could disembark from their river voyages directly below the palace and be received there. After the death of King Sisavang Vong, the Crown Prince Savang Vatthana and his family were the last to occupy the grounds. In 1975, the monarchy was overthrown by the communists and the Royal Family were taken to re-education camps. The palace was then converted into a national museum.
Near Haw Pha Bang and the Royal Palace in Luang Prabang, Laos - just on the opposite side of the road...
The Royal Palace, entrance gate. Inside the museum there was no photo zone - so I didn't bother to bu...
Vat Chom Si is the stupa situated at the top of the Luang Prabang forest hill. It the best place to h...
The Vat Mai temple in Luang Prabang, LAOS.
Inside a laotian temple court, with a very old bird which has been living there for many years
The Vat Chum Khong temple in Luang Prabang, LAOS. The man walking towards the Buddha is not a monk. I...
View of King Kitsarath road and of mount Phousi in the royal city of Luang Prabang, Laos.
The gilded and carved wooden façade of Wat Pa Phai monastery in Luang Prabang, Laos is more than 100 ...
Asia is the biggest continent on Earth, a darling little gem floating around in space.
Hm, what is Asia? Who's in on it?
China and India are safe bets for Asian nations. Korea, Japan, Thailand, you're fine.
Europe? No. Europe would sort of be on the "Asian continent" if not for those pesky Ural mountains dividing things up in the middle, and then also the whole lineage of kings and wealth and nations and the EU and all that "give me my respect" stuff.
Russia would probably be happiest as its own continent, so for now we'll leave it in "Eurasia" and just hope the natural gas supplies keep flowing.
Pakistan and Afghanistan are dang close to Asia, but politically they show up in "Middle East" news stories an awful lot. Verdict: Eurasia.
I guess we'll actually have to consider everything from Turkey on eastward to be "Eurasian", although the moniker seems overlappitory of the territory.
The Asian economy is now officially raging like a wild furnace of lava that consumes everything in its path. Japan has had the largest individual economy in Asia for decades, but it is forecast that both India and China will outstrip Japan within twenty years.
China is the largest holder of United States debt and is positioned to become the world's next superpower, provided that Godzilla doesn't return and decide to stomp everybody back into the Shang Dynasty.
Text by Steve Smith.