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Art and Culture in Luang Prabang

National Musem

The former Royal Palace, which was constructed between 1904 to 1909 during the reign of King Sisavangvong, has now been converted into the National Museum. A collection of personal artifacts belonging to the former Royal Family, historical photographs, musical instruments and gifts to the nation from foreign countries are on display.

Wat Xieng Thong Temple

Built during the 16th Century by King Saysetthathirath and completed in 1560, Wat Xieng Thong temple is one of the most interesting examples of art and Buddhist architecture. The intricate golden facades, colorful murals, glass mosaics and unique three-layered roof make this one of the most beautiful temples in Asia. This temple was used to organize the highest Royal Ceremonies and houses the bones of King Sisavangvong. The ornate carved and gilded funeral vehicle of the former King is kept in one of the buildings in the temple grounds. It is well worth visiting and playing your respects to this temple while in Luang Prabang.

Wat Mai Temple

Built in 1796, was built in typical Luang Prabang style and is purely in Lao design. Magnificent wood carving and gold-leaf murals can be seen on the main pillars and portico entrance to the temple. During Pimai Lao Festival, the Prabang (sacred Buddha Image) is carried from the National Museum to Wat Mai for ritual cleansing ceremonies. Lao people pour perfumed water over the image, adorn it with flowers and pay homage to the sacred Prabang. 

Wat Visoun Temple

King Visounarath built Wat visoun Temple in 1503 and then named it after himself. It is known for the large, unusually shaped stupa placed in the grounds. Because of its shape, the stupa is known as “That Makmo” or “Watermelon Stupa”.

Wat That Chomsi Temple

Located at the top of Mount Phou Si in the heart of the town, this delightful Stupa was built in 1804 during the reign of King Anourouth. Wat That Chomsi has become a symbol of Luang Prabang’s spiritual significance to Laos. During the Pimai Festival, women carry flowers offerings up the stairs and leave as offerings at the foot of the stupa. A spectacular view is afforded from the top of Mount Phou Si. In the foreground the National Museum and gabled roofs of the many Buddhist temples can be seen scattered around the palm-tree laden urban landscape. In the distance, the Mekong and Khan rivers are set against the dramatic mountain backdrop.

Contact information : Lao Tourism Organization.
Address :                  Sethathirat Road, Sisaket Village, Chanthaboury District, Vientiane, Lao PDR.
Telephone :               +856 21 250791
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