Embrace Foundation is a non-profit,
educational foundation set up to
create better understanding
between people of different
religions, cultures, traditions and
Embrace Foundation works to bring
leaders and scholars of world-wide
religions, cultures and philosophies
together by sponsoring forums,
seminars, lectures and developing
an international exchange program.
Embrace Foundation is particularly
concerned with reaching the world
public through the media.
Embrace Foundation is an all
volunteer organization. All
donations go directly to programs.
Embrace Foundation does not and
has never given permission to any
outside organization to solicit or
receive contributions on our behalf.
All donations should be made to
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Embrace encourages all who can
do so, to learn about other
traditions and cultures by traveling
as “Grassroots Diplomats.” We
hope that people every where
become life long students of our
“ In every man there is something
wherein I may learn of him, and in
that I am his pupil.”
TRAVELING IN LAOS
Laotian & Thai Languages
The language of Thailand and Laos is inter-related so that the people of Laos often, if not usually,
understand Thai. This why you will most often see either “Vat” or “Wat” designating a temple, Wat
being the Thai designation, Vat being the Lao designation.
The Sacred in Luang Prabang & Vientiane
As we've mentioned in our CURRENT section, the U.S. eradicated most of the old temples and
monasteries in Laos except in Luang Prabang and Vientiane, so for those going to see old
monasteries, temples and stupas your visit will be concentrated in these two cities. In Vientiane,
temples are often closed and monks are not seen so often. However, Laos has other things to offer
that will bring a balance and sanity to your trip. Nature is one of those things. Laos is naturally
splendid with many, many places to explore, even just a short distance from cities.
In Luang Prabang it is easy to meet monks of all ages who are approachable despite seeing
probably more than their share of tourists. The young are usually quite interested in talking with
visitors. The evenings in both rural towns and cities is the time to join Laotians in their temples for
chanting. Just listening to the chanting can bring you good “dharma” (good merit.)
Many Westerners contribute to the Laotian people in Luang Prabang through numerous programs.
One, of the contributing activities you see under the trees at monasteries and in the library are
language lessons. Books are greatly in demand, so if you can arrive with some appropriate books
and leave them behind, they will be tremendously appreciated. Of the Western languages, French is
widely read, as well as, English. Luang Prabang even has a “Book Boat” that drops off books with
people as it travels along the Mekong River.
Laos has beautiful current ballads and popular music. You will hear it on long trips in vans and in
any restaurant that has a live band. We've never mentioned the music of any country in particular,
but Laotian contemporary music deserves to be noted.
Evenings Along the Mekong in Vientiane
In Vientiane, along the Mekong River there is the hasty construction every night of many
enterprising restaurants (a high-end night market) with a bazaar further down the walkway. Walking
along the Mekong in the evening while staying in Vientiane is a treat. It is well-kept and very
attractive. During your walk, you may come across temple chanting across the street, heart-touching
music, lots of arts and crafts and of course, food freshly prepared in front of your eyes.