Lao spirit houses

I am fascinated by things that are unknown in one culture but an assumption in another culture; so ubiquitous as to be invisible. Often these are things like "where do the bathroom electric switches go", but in Southeast Asia there's a more dramatic example: the spirit house. I'll quote Wikipedia here, because I am lazy:

A spirit house ... is a shrine to the protective spirit of a place that is found in the Southeast Asian countries of Burma, Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand. Most houses and businesses have a spirit house placed in an auspicious spot, most often in a corner of the property. The location may be chosen after consultation with a Brahmin priest. The spirit house is normally in the form of a miniature house or temple, and is mounted on a pillar or on a dais.

The house is intended to provide a shelter for spirits that could cause problems for the people if not appeased. The shrines often include images of people and animals. Votive offerings are left at the house to propitiate the spirits. More elaborate installations include an altar for this purpose.

This represents less than half of the pictures I took of spirit houses, and less than a fifth of the ones I saw. But even this small selection shows some of the remarkable diversity in style and location that I saw.