Laos Travel Experiences
Laos is a small country in South East Asia, bordering several major tourist destinations, such as Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar and China. This region is a great attraction for tourists from all over the world.
The Asian country of Laos is remarkable due to its amazing culture and authentic lifesyle admired by millions of tourists. One of the state symbols is Anusavari Arc de Triomphe built after the Second World War in memory of the killed Laotian soldiers.
Wat That Luang temple is a mysterious attraction. Inside, one will see a huge statue of Buddha, resting in a spacious, simply decorated hall. The statue seems to be carved of stone, and it looks magnificent.
Pha That Luang is an important national temple in Laos, which is a symbol of Buddhism religion and of the country’s sovereignty. The full name of the temple means ‘The World Precious Sacred Stupa’. Legend has it that the missionaries of King Ashoka of India founded the first stupa here in the 3rd century BC, but any convincing evidence of this event has not yet been found. The excavations, carried out directly in the temple, show that right at this point there used to be an ancient Khmer monastery in the 11th century. And when king Sethathirat moved the capital of Laos from Luang Prabang to Vientiane in the middle of the 16th century, he ordered to erect Pha That Luang temple in place of the ancient monastery. The construction started in 1566, and in four years four temples had been erected. At present, only two of them have survived: Wat That Luang Neua facing the north and Wat That Luang Tai facing the south.
Wat That Luang Neua used to be the residence of the Supreme Spiritual Guide of Buddhism in Laos. The temple is surrounded by a high bastion built in the 19th century to protect the temple against foreign invaders. Each part of the monument is different in terms of its architecture, which embodies the basic doctrines of Buddhism.
The Central Stupa of Thap Luang is decorated with the sculpture of a flower and Buddhist inscriptions, its walls are 45 meters high, and behind them there are some more classical Khmer sculptures.
Wat Phra Kaew was not only a monastery, but a royal temple as well. It was built in the 16th century specifically for the Emerald Buddha statue, but in 1788 it was moved to Bangkok. Since then, the Emerald Buddha statue is considered the most sacred relic, not only in Laos, but also for the people of Thailand.
The National Museum is another interesting attraction which contains valuable works of art, but the most expensive exhibit is a copy of a small statue of Buddha. The original Buddha was made of gold and weighed 50 kg. The statue was made in Ceylon in the first century AD. Now it is kept in a bank for security purposes as one of the holiest relics of Buddhism. Other famous destinations of the country include the Royal Monastery Wat Thong Kseng, which is called a ‘golden city of temples’ and is located on the banks of the Mekong. The Royal Monastery looks like a town, and its main pagoda is richly decorated with gilded carving.
The second largest church of the monastery, Kseng Tong, is a royal tomb. Wat Tat Luang monatery is located in the southern part of the city. The territory of the monastery is decorated with bamboo poles with long green ribbons. Wind rustles the construction, and the ribbons twist slowly, like dragons. People come here to pay homage to the ‘father of rivers’, the Mekong. They praise the great river in folk legends for its fertility and abundance. There, at the confluence of the Mekong and the Ou rivers, one will find the famous Pak Ou caves, which host thousands of Buddha statues created by monks more than 300 years ago. This place is thought to be inhabited by good spirits and is a site of traditional annual prayers.