Saturday, January 7, 2012

Savannakhet - The Stone House and Garbage Overload

On the 31st of December, 2011, the last day of the last year before the World-Is-About-To-End for the umpteenth time in living memory, we travelled south to visit a site ominously named The Stone House following attractive road signs put up by the Lao government to promote tourism. The Stone House, it turns out, is a pre-Angkorian temple standing there by the river. It juts out of the soil, out of nowhere.

It is filled with statues of the Buddha which have been so worn down by time that all that often remains is a pair of drooping shoulders around which a sash has been draped.

Since the Government of the Lao PDR has gone to great lengths to promote tourism to the country I would humbly request it do something to educate the population as to the damage caused by the infestation of plastic bags and garbage strewn just about everywhere.

It is getting too much. At one point we drove to a “scenic spot” on the Mekong but had to wade through mountains of garbage just to get to the banks of the river. The air is filled with the acid smell of burning plastic.

Garbage, and how it is treated, is an ugly mark on this magical land.

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