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Top 10 Laos temples that you simply have to see

Top 10 Laos temples that you simply have to see

Table Contents
  • 1. The Significance of Laos Temples
  • 2. Discover the Top 10 Laos Temples You Must See

If you have a genuine interest in exploring Laos, don't hesitate to immerse yourself in its rich Buddhist culture. The extensive array of magnificent Laos temples, stupas, and monasteries provides an excellent opportunity to delve into Lao heritage. Below, you'll find a compilation of remarkable temples in Laos that deserve a spot on your bucket list.

1. The Significance of Laos Temples

Throughout history, Laotian people have held a deep reverence for both spirits and the Buddha. Consequently, temples have been constructed across the country as places of Buddhist worship. To Laotians, temples represent centers of reverence and spirituality. Adorned more elaborately than homes, they stand as architectural marvels that command the attention of villagers.

Beyond serving as places of offering, temples have historically functioned as hubs for charitable donations. As integral components of Laos' religious and cultural heritage, many temples—both ancient and restored - play vital roles in preserving the country's identity.

2. Discover the Top 10 Laos Temples You Must See

2.1 Pha That Luang

Situated in Vientiane, Pha That Luang, also known as the Great Stupa, tops the list of must-visit Laos temples. This iconic temple stands as one of the most stunning and renowned religious sites in the country, often considered a national symbol and proudly featured on Laos' official seal.

The history of Pha That Luang dates back to the third century when it was originally constructed to enshrine a relic of Buddha. Although the current structure was rebuilt in the 16th century, it suffered destruction during conflicts with the Siamese and lay abandoned for some time. It wasn't until Laos came under French rule that Pha That Luang was meticulously reconstructed to its former glory.

The outside of Pha That Luang
The outside of Pha That Luang

Resembling a fortified stronghold, the temple boasts three distinct levels, each representing a stage of Buddhist enlightenment. Visitors can explore its intricately adorned cloisters adorned with Buddha images, intricately designed windows, and statues of Naga snakes guarding the stairs. Notably, the temple also features statues of King Jayavarman VII, a key figure in Laotian religious history. These captivating features make Wat Xieng Thong a must-visit destination for Laos travel enthusiasts.

For an unforgettable experience, time your visit to coincide with the annual Theravada Buddhist Festival, also known as the Pha That Luang Festival, celebrated over three days during the full moon of the twelfth lunar month.

  • Opening Hours: From 08:00 AM to 04:00 PM
  • Fee: 5000 Kip/person
Luang Prabang - 4000 Islands
Luang Prabang - 4000 Islands
7 days 6 nights
Start in Luang Prabang and end in Pakse! We will arrive at the core of Laotian culture- Luang Prabang, where sparkles with its flickering verifiable and strict destinations just as broad regular magnificence. As an UNESCO World Heritage Site, the city is an appealing goal that you can't miss on your Laos visit. Next destination, 4000 islands is a beguiling little jewel of a spot settled at the foot of Laos on the Cambodian border, and as the name recommends, comprises of bunches of small islands dissipated in the huge Mekong Delta.
From
$628

2.2 Wat Xieng Thong

Located in Luang Prabang, Wat Xieng Thong stands as a remarkable example of Laos temples. Built in 1560 during the reign of King Setthathirath, the temple underwent significant restoration in the 1960s due to the ravages of time and war. Despite these challenges, the temple retains its magnificent features, including its sweeping double-tiered roof and vibrant decorations.

Wat Xieng Thong temple
Wat Xieng Thong temple

One of Wat Xieng Thong's most striking features is the intricate tree of life mosaic adorning its western exterior wall, showcasing the exquisite craftsmanship of Laotian temple artistry. Easily accessible at the heart of Luang Prabang, visitors can reach the Laos temple by tuktuk, private cars, or even on foot from the bustling night market. For a unique experience, consider arriving via river cruise along the Mekong River, allowing you to explore various regions of Laos and picturesque villages along the way.

  • Opening Hours: From 08:00 AM to 05:00 PM
  • Fee: 20,000 Kip/Person
  • Dress Code: Visitors are required to adhere to a dress code, particularly women who are advised to wear modest attire, such as not-too-short skirts or pants, or cover their legs. For those without appropriate attire, Laotian long skirts can be rented for 5000 kip at the entrance.

Half Day Luang Prabang Cycling Tour
Half Day Luang Prabang Cycling Tour
Half day
Discover parts of the city that are inaccessible by coach or car during a bike tour of Luang Prabang. Exploring by bike allows you to skip the stress of parking and get a more intimate glimpse into Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Plus, the short duration of this half-day tour makes it the ideal choice for visitors on a time budget.
From
$49

2.3 Wat Phou

Ranked third on our list of Laos temples, Wat Phou, also known as Vat Phu, stands apart from others in its dedication to Hinduism rather than Buddhism. This ancient temple, built in Khmer architecture, holds historical and religious significance and boasts a stunning structure nestled at the foot of a hill.

Believed to predate Cambodia's Angkor Complex, Wat Phou is the oldest temple in Laos, featuring ancient buildings adorned with intricate sculptures, decorative patterns, stone statues, and even a footprint of Buddha on a massive stone. Visitors can immerse themselves in the temple's rich history and architectural grandeur.

Wat Phou also known as Vat Phu
Wat Phou also known as Vat Phu

For festival enthusiasts, the Boun Wat Phou or Wat Phou Festival is an annual highlight, occurring on the 15th day of the third lunar month. During this three-day celebration, traditional rituals, dance performances, and music events take center stage, offering visitors a glimpse into local culture and traditions. Notably, the festival culminates in the famous Tak Bat alms ceremony on the final day, drawing pilgrims and monks from across the country.

  • Opening Hours: From 08:00 AM to 04:30 PM
  • Fee: 35,000 kip/person for one day

2.4. Wat Si Saket

As the oldest Buddhist monastery in Vientiane, Wat Si Saket stands as a testament to Laos' spiritual legacy. Constructed in 1820 and meticulously restored in the 1930s, this temple maintains its impressive original form, drawing visitors with its rich history and exquisite ornamentation. With over 10,000 Buddha images, Nagas, seated Buddha statues, and intricate decoration patterns, travelers are treated to an awe-inspiring display of ancient architecture.

  • Opening Hours: From 08:00 AM to 04:00 PM
  • Fee: 5000 Kip/person
Wat Si Saket - The oldest Buddhist monastery in Vientiane
Wat Si Saket - The oldest Buddhist monastery in Vientiane

2.5 Haw Phra Kaew

Situated in Vientiane, Haw Phra Kaew, also known as Ho Phra Keo, holds historical significance as the former home of the revered Emerald Buddha, now enshrined in Bangkok. Built by King Setthathirat, the temple captivates visitors with its lush green surroundings, traditional architecture, and ornate details. From the Naga snakes flanking the stairways to the gallery of bronze Buddha statues and intricate wood carvings, Haw Phra Kaew exudes timeless charm.

  • Opening Hours: From 08:00 AM to 12:00 PM & from 01:00 to 04:00 PM
  • Fee: 5000 Kip/person
Haw Phra Kaew - also known as Ho Phra Keo
Haw Phra Kaew - also known as Ho Phra Keo

2.6 Wat Mai Suwannaphumaham

For a closer look at intricate temple decor, Wat Mai Suwannaphumaham in Luang Prabang offers a captivating experience. This five-tiered-roof temple dazzles with its golden reliefs depicting village life, Buddhist scenes, and traditional festivals. The vibrant black and red lacquer adorning the walls and ceiling add to the temple's allure, making it a must-visit destination.

  • Opening Hours: From 08:00 AM to 05:00 PM
  • Fee: 10,000 kip/person
Wat Mai Suwannaphumaham in Luang Prabang
Wat Mai Suwannaphumaham in Luang Prabang

2.7 Pak Ou Caves

A trip to the Pak Ou Caves, Luang Prabang, offers a profound insight into Laos Buddhism and the country's rich heritage of temples. Nestled upstream from the Mekong, approximately 25 kilometers from Luang Prabang, these historic caves serve as a sacred site for the Laotian people and are among the notable Laos temples. Carved into a rocky cliff face overlooking the Mekong River, the Pak Ou Caves house thousands of Buddha statues, each imbued with spiritual significance.

The Pak Ou Caves
The Pak Ou Caves

Accessible by tuk-tuk or boat, a leisurely boat ride along the Mekong River provides the most authentic experience, offering breathtaking views of the river and local life. As you explore the two caves, you'll be transported through time, encountering an array of Laos Buddha statues in various shapes and sizes.

  • Opening Hours: From 08:00 AM to 05:00 PM
  • Fee: 20,000 Kip/person

2.8 Buddha Park

Situated approximately 25 kilometers southeast of Vientiane, the capital of Laos, Buddha Park, also known as Wat Xieng Khuan, stands as a testament to outsider artistry. This open-air sculpture park boasts over 200 statues of Hindu and Buddhist origin, captivating visitors with its eclectic display. Although not a traditional Buddhist temple, Buddha Park showcases remarkable sculptures, including a 40-meter reclining Buddha, the Hindu god Indra atop a two-headed elephant, and various anthropomorphic figures.

  • Opening Hours: From 08:00 AM to 05:00 PM
  • Fee: 15,000 Kip (Camera: + 3,000 Kip)
Buddha Park also known as Wat Xieng Khuan
Buddha Park also known as Wat Xieng Khuan

2.9 Wat Aham

Amidst the array of Laos temples, Wat Aham remains a beacon of spiritual significance. Nestled near Wat Wisunalat, a revered golden temple in Laos, Wat Aham, meaning "The Monastery of the Blossoming Heart," offers a serene sanctuary for meditation and Buddhist practices. Dating back to 1818, this ancient temple in Luang Prabang boasts a rich history of worship, inviting visitors to connect with its spiritual essence.

  • Opening Hours: Daily from 08:00 AM to 05:00 PM
  • Fee: 5,000 Kip/person.
Wat Aham - The Monastery of the Blossoming Heart
Wat Aham - The Monastery of the Blossoming Heart

2.10 Wat Si Muang

Located in Vientiane, the capital of Laos, Wat Si Muang, also known as Simoung, stands as a revered Buddhist temple. Embraced by Laotian people for its captivating legend, Wat Si Muang welcomes visitors of all backgrounds without an entrance fee. Distinguished by its tranquil surroundings and unique architectural composition, this temple offers a peaceful retreat for contemplation and spiritual connection.

  • Opening Hours: Daily from 06:00 AM to 07:00 PM
  • Fee: Free
Wat Si Muang located in Vientiane
Wat Si Muang located in Vientiane

Temples Through Laos, Cambodia Tour
Temples Through Laos, Cambodia Tour
7 days 6 nights
This trip is filled with several renowned temples built for royalty, reverence, and ritual. The Vat Vixoune temple was built for a king and is hundreds of years old. The Wat Xieng Thong temple is among the largest in Luang Prabang and housed the coronation for many Lao Kings. In Wat Tagbat, you’ll witness how the monks do their rounds
From
$812

Contact Adventure Asia today to explore more about our soft/medium vacation options tailored for experienced adventurers seeking uniquely styled expeditions, rather than traditional tourist-oriented itineraries that are prevalent, especially when it comes to exploring the top 10 Laos temples.

Table of contents
  • 1. The Significance of Laos Temples
  • 2. Discover the Top 10 Laos Temples You Must See
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