Xieng Khuan | Buddha Park in Vientiane
Located about 25 kilometers southeast of Vientiane, the Xieng Khuan Buddha Park is a must-see stop for visitors to the country’s capital. The park contains more than 200 Hindu and Buddhist statues made of reinforced concrete, each intricately designed and incredibly unique. These massive outdoor sculptures represent humans, gods, animals and demons, and although the park does not hold the same religious significance as a temple or Wat, its expansive meadow, endless statues and beautiful landscape makes it an ideal spot for photography lovers to spend an afternoon capturing images representative of this nation.
The Xieng Khuan Buddha Park was built in 1958 by Luang Pu Bunleua Sulilat, a monk who studied both Buddhism and Hinduism. This explains why his park is full not only of Buddha images but also of Hindu gods as well as demons and animals from both beliefs.
The most outstanding ones include Indra, the king of Hindu gods riding the three-headed elephant (aka Erawan and Airavata), a four-armed deity sitting on a horse and an artistic deity with 12 faces and many hands, each holding interesting objects. They are all equally impressive not only because of their enormous size but because they are full of interesting details and interesting motifs.
There is a local eatery and café offering food and drinks to tourists at one end of the park right next to the Mekong River that makes a great spot to chill after all the walking and climbing. Among the popular snacks are papaya salad, fried bananas and cold Lao beer. It also has a souvenir shop and restrooms. There is a small fee for entering the park as well as for photography.
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