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The religion of Laos is a fascinating blend of Buddhism and Animism. There are spirits for everything - and spirit houses like this one can be found inside and outside every home. You want to keep the good spirits, phii heuan, on your side.

This shrine, just outside our apartment, houses the pha phum or spirits of the land. They keep watch over the property. Food, drink, flowers, and lit candles are all proffered to the spirits on a regular basis and they are consulted before any major decisions are made. Be true to them and the evil spirits will be kept at bay.