Wat Xieng Thong – the most beautiful ancient temple in Luang Prabang Laos

In Laos in general and Luang Prabang in particular, there are many beautiful and sacred temples. Among them, Wat Xieng Thong is considered the most beautiful with its sophisticated and elaborate design. Let’s find out this temple in Luang Prabang Laos


Introduction to Wat Xieng Thong

Wat Xieng Thong is located at the confluence of the Nam Khan and Mekong rivers. This is the most important ancient temple in the ancient capital of Luang Prabang. Currently, the pagoda is a place to preserve many ancient relics, religious spirits, and traditional Lao art. The name Wat Xieng Thong means temple of the golden city.

Wat Xieng Thong Laos Temple

Wat Xieng Thong is a place of pilgrimage and worship for a large number of local residents and tourists. This temple plays an increasingly important role in life, and spiritual culture, and is a quiet place in the middle of a bustling and prosperous city.


Directions to Wat Xieng Thong

Wat Xieng Thong is located near the end of the Luang Prabang peninsula, between Sakkaline Road and Khem Khong Road. From Luang Prabang’s old town, visitors can walk a few minutes to the temple. If you are in a more remote area, rent a motorbike, bicycle, or tuk-tuk to get to the temple.

Wat Xieng Thong Lao Temple is open daily from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Note: This is an active temple, there are many monks praying and living at the temple. Therefore, choose historical, formal clothes (do not wear short shorts, short skirts, open shoulders, open chest, …). If necessary, you can hire a sarong to cover your feet. When entering the temple, remember to take off your shoes outside.


History of Wat Xieng Thong

Wat Xieng Thong was built during the reign of King Setthathirath from 1559 to 1560. This is one of the few temples that was not destroyed during the invasion of the Black Flag Army in 1887.

During the 1975s, Wat Xieng Thong was the place to oversee the coronation of many Lao Kings. Today, the temple is a gathering place, taking place in many important festivals every year in Luang Prabang.

Luang Prabang Laos


The unique structure of Wat Xieng Thong

Wat Xieng Thong is the largest temple in Luang Prabang, a great symbol of the history, religion, culture, and tourism of Laos. The pagoda was built in the traditional Lao style from the 16th century. There are many intricate patterns carved on the walls and there are many walls to worship Buddha.

In addition to being restored on the roof, gilding leaves, and adding lacquer at the entrances and walls, the temple remains almost as it was when it was first built.

The most impressive area in Wat Xieng Thong is the main hall. Both the interior and exterior of the main hall are lavishly and meticulously decorated with many delicate golden borders that stand out on black lacquer. This building is built according to the old traditional architecture, the roof is long, wide, and close to the ground. The wall at the back of the main hall has a picture of the “tree of life” inlaid on the red wall.

Luang Prabang Laos

The interior of the main hall is just as impressive as the outside. The house has large wooden pillars supporting the roof; The walls are decorated with gold-plated patterns on a black painted background with animal motifs, flowers, scenes of daily life, and stories about Jataka. In the middle, there is an altar, and on the table, there is a rather large bronze Buddha image, surrounded by smaller Buddha statues.

From the entrance gate, on the left side, there is a small temple, inside which displays the hidden chariot made of wood carved with the gold of King Sisang Vong. This car stands out with its splendid yellow color and is decorated with Naga snake motifs on the front. Inside the chariot are three exquisite urns, containing the ashes of King Sisavang Vong and his parents

In the chapel area next to the main hall, there is a Buddha statue carved from the reign of King Setthathirat. That Buddha image was displayed in Paris in 1931 before being returned to the temple in 1964.

Luang Prabang Laos

Buddha statue in the main hall

The grounds of Wat Xieng Thong have a Tripitaka library, built in 1880, an empty tower built in 1961, and a mission room dating from 1560. In addition, there are other structures such as a chapel. , stupas, residences of monks, etc.

On major holidays of the year, Wat Xieng Thong Laos becomes extremely bustling and busier than ever. Especially, when it is dark, many people come to admire the golden Buddha statue and participate in the Buddha bathing ceremony with very impressive perfume and perfume.

With sophisticated architecture, sacredness, and mystery, Wat Xieng Thong has attracted more and more tourists to visit and worship. They come here simply to enjoy the scenery or pray for happiness and peace for themselves, their families, and everyone. Just that much meaning alone is enough to make our souls much purer and more peaceful.


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