Published for the Royal Geographical Society by J. Murray,
Text on page 75
THE UPPER MEKONG, SIAM.
of a monastery known as Wat Susaket. It is a small building, the wat itself, of the usual style, with the small lantern rising from, the central roof, as at Luang Prabang. The walls are very massive, and, with the height inside, the place was delightfully cool; all round the interior from floor to roof the walls are honeycombed with small niches in rows, in which stand the little gilt a prahs,a looking out imperturbably, generally about 8 inches in height.
Bound this building outside runs a rectangular cloister, whichi faces inwards, and here, at one time, the monks were living among the statues which stand round the walls, many of these 3 and more
feet high, while the walls too are ornamented with niches similar to those inside the main building. In the centre of each side there is a gateway surmounted by a gable, there being also similar ornaments at each corner. The beauty and the retired air of the court inside could not be surpassed, and the effect of the green grass, the white walls, the low-reaching red-tiled roofs, and the deep shadows is charming; there is nothing flat, nothing vulgarly gaudy, and very little that is out of repair. And here, as is most noticeable in the remains of the other buildings about, the proportions are perfect. In this the ruined remains of Wieng Chan surpass all the other buildings I have seen in Siam, and bear witness to a true artistic sense in the builders. Though the old city is not inhabited, and the site thereof seems under a curse, the villages along the bank of the river, both above and below, have a flourishing appearance, and the paths along the river, with their cool shade, were full of people.
Leaving Wieng Chan, we had our last and most curious experienceLeaving Wieng Chan, we had our last and most curious experience