Beautiful Laos - Ben Visbeek (10 pics)

Little cowboy watching over his cattle

Ben Visbeek is a photographer who lives in Amsterdam. Here he takes us on a journey through beautiful Laos - capturing the raw beauty of the country and its people. Though I've traveled all through Asia, I've never had a chance to visit this beautiful country but thanks to the internet and talented photographers like Ben Visbeek, I get to experience it but for a brief moment today. First photo: "We followed a 2 km stream by feet, the bed walk was rough and at times shady. But the forestry scenery was so beautiful. Along the way to the cave we met this little cowboy sitting high in tree watching over his cattle." Here are 10 of my favorite pictures from his Flickr photostream. Umbrella for sun or rain

"Their lifestyle is shaped so as to support their spiritual practice, to live a simple and meditative life. Photo taken at Buddha Park, also known as Wat Xieng Khuan 25 km southeast from Vientiane. Buddhist monks passing the enormous reclining Buddha; the Buddha's final state of enlightenment." You reap what you sow

" I capture this hard working farmer with his hand tractor nearby Vang Vieng. Such tractor is used in plain, mountain area and hills widely. With relevant farm machinery, it can do many work in the paddy field, such as ploughing, whirl tilling, harvesting, seeding, threshing grain and pump water. It also can haul a trailer for short-distance transport. Many Lao people support themselves, such hard life where men life expectancy is only 54 years (est. 2008) ." The Elephant's Child

"On our bikes we pass a little village Ban Thieng about 10km south from Vang Vieng, we cross a stream where a elephants indulge in playful water fights, squirting refreshing showers over themselves. We meet these two little mahouts (elephant handlers) taking care of their elephant like it was a puppy dog." The Arc de Triomphe of Vientiane

"Patuxai literally Victory Gate or Gate of Triumph, formerly the Anousavary or Anosavari Monument, is a monument in the center of Vientiane, Laos built in 1962 or 1968. It is dedicated to those who fought in the struggle for independence from France. Although bearing a general resemblance to the Arc de Triomphe, in Paris, it is typically Laotian, decorated with many kinnari figures. The Patuxai was built using American funds. The US had given Laos money to build a new airport, however the Laotian government of the day used the money to build the monument instead. As a consequence it is sometimes referred to as the "vertical runway"." Feeling the flow of the Tad Sae waterfall

"Tad Sae Waterfalls can be accessed only by boat and best during rainy season. Here we arrived at end of a very scenic Tad Sae waterfalls. The waterfall stream flows into the Nam Khan river. The waterfall is divided into 3 limestone steps. There are numerous cascades and pools with turquoise water. This is an ideal place for bathing. In the weekend locals have their picnic's here and during weekdays it's a very quiet place. But today the young monks apparently have their holiday and enjoying the many extended ponds of this beautiful waterfall. " The joy of the Mekong

"Photo taken during our longtail boat trip 25km to the Pak Ou Caves down the Mekong River. The boy is jumping from a tree into the Mekong while our boat was passing by. I took multiple shots to capture his jump."' Afternoon elephant bathing

"Our boat did ferry us cross the Nam Khan river to Ban Souandara. This village is populated by Khamu, Hmong and Lao Loom people. Here you can take an elephant ride through teak forests and farmland to Tad Sae Waterfall." There's a story for every homeless

"Photo taken at the morning market of Luang Prabang. I fastly caught a glimpse of this old Asian man. Don't know if he noticed me, but one shot was all I got before he turned around and start eating his meal. " Please be quiet at the night market

"Taking a stroll through the night market is an enjoyable experience in itself and is something that should not be missed for those visiting Luang Prabang. Shopping is still an informal affair in Luang Prabang. There are hundreds of temporary and semi-permanent shops, stalls, and blankets spread on the ground, where virtually everyone converges to buy and sell most anything. Here the primitive hill tribesman or woman comes face to face with the modern western traveler in a milieu strange to both of them. Yet, life comes easily here and such anomalies are taken, as a matter of course, with a broad smile." Ben Visbeek Flickr
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  • Love "The Joy of the Mekong," Those kids are flying!
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