Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Found in Luang Prabang: 17th century Dutch


If you look around Luang Prabang, you might spot this wood carving of a 17th century Dutch traveler carved in one of the temple doors. 

The most famous of Dutch visitors was Gerrit van Wusthoff in the 1640s, who later published the accounts of his travels to Laos as diplomat and trader. Van Wusthoff visited Vientiane in 1641, traveling upstream from Phnom Penh in Cambodia. The Italian Jesuit priest Filippo de Marini would soon travel to Laos as well.

During this time, Souligna Vongsa was the king of Lan Xang, who ascended to the throne in 1637 and was king for 57 years before the split into three kingdoms around 1707 as result of a heated dispute.

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