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A Buddhist temple in Luang Prabang, Thailand with a blue sky in the background.

Buddhist Temples in Luang Prabang Laos

Known as a UNESCO World Heritage Site that houses several historical temples that are iconic landmarks of Luang Prabang, Laos. The town has a vibrant history and is recognized as one of the famous cities in Southeast Asia.

Luang Prabang Buddhist Wat

The city of Luang Prabang has a combination of spiritual nourishment and world-class comfort. Similar to Vientiane, the capital city of Laos, Luang Prabang is also full of prominent temples that feature elaborate styles that become obvious right at first glance.

These temples have multi-level roofs along with miniature pagodas. Included in the list of the Buddhist temples found in Luang Prabang are Wat Xieng Thong, Wat Aham, Wat Mai, Haw Phra Bang, Wat Wisunalat, Wat Mahathat, and Wat Tham Phousi.

Buddhist Wat Xieng Thong in Luang Prabang, Laos
Photo source: http://ryanbeales.blogspot.com/2011/12/wat-xieng-thong.html

Luang Prabang Buddhist Temple-Wat Xieng Thong

The most prominent Buddhist temple in Luang Prabang is Wat Xieng Thong. It’s the most beautiful and richly decorated temple in the city. It also has one of the most impressive congregation halls on earth, with both the interior and exterior portions intricately trimmed with gold. The former monarch King Setthathirath built Wat Xieng Thong on the banks of the Mekong River way back in 1559. It’s recognized as one of the few temples that the Black Flag Army invasion of 1887 did not destroy. Wat Xieng Thong undoubtedly has one of the most impressive Buddhist temple structures in all of Asia.

A section the interior of Wat Aham in Luang Prabang, Laos
Photo source: https://www.laoslife.info/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Main-shrine-at-Wat-Aham.jpg

Luang Prabang Buddhist Temple-Wat Aham

Another significant Buddhist temple is Wat Aham, which is a small temple but consists of two sims built in 1818, along with two ancient stupas. It has a tiered roof that ends with decorated finials inspired in style by the Naga (divine mythical snake in Buddhism). There are two guardian tigers at the entrance of the temple along with two characters of Phra Lak Phra Ram, the Lao version of the famous Indian Epic, the Ramayana. The porch of the Buddhist temple Wat Aham has four pillars that feature golden capitals made in the shape of lotus flowers. The front facade of the temple is decorated with red and gold while the front door features a carving of a seated Buddha along with lotus flowers that surround it. Gilded deities are depicted in the decoration of its door panels.

The Unique Buddhist Temple Wat Wisunalat in Luang Prabang, Laos
Photo source: https://www.vietvisiontravel.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/That-Pathum-within-the-grounds-of-Wat-Wisunalat-Luang-Prabang-Laos.jpg

Luang Prabang Buddhist Temple-Wat Wisunalat

Next to Wat Aham is Wat Wisunalat, which is another Buddhist temple and is likely the oldest temple in Luang Prabang. Wat Wisunalat is also known as Wat Visounnarat or Wat Visoun. This synagogue was founded in 1512 and now houses significant collections of ancient Buddha statues. The congregation hall features plain architecture along with a large stupa of Singhalese, which is derived from the style of Sri Lanka.

Luang Prabang Buddhist Temple-Wat Mai

Wat Mai Suwannaphumaham is also an impressive Buddhist temple in Luang Prabang. In fact, it’s the largest and most decorated temple in the city with both the interior and exterior area featuring black and red lacquer as well as a gold leaf. The wat is also called Wat Mai which means new temple. The former King Anurat of the Kingdom of Luang Prabang founded the temple in 1780. It’s located just next to the Royal Palace, which is used by the Lao Royal family.

Haw Pha Bang Inside the Compound of the Royal Palace Museum in Luang Prabang, Laos
Photo source: https://www.renown-travel.com/laos/temples/haw-pha-bang.html

Luang Prabang Buddhist Temple-Haw Pha Bang
Another prominent Buddhist temple in Luang Prabang, Laos includes Haw Pha Bang, which is found just inside the Royal Palace Museum. Inside you will find the venerated Buddha image enshrined, which is now embodied in the Royal Palace.

Luang Prabang Other Buddhist Temples

The Wat Tham Phousi is another Buddhist temple with a golden pagoda. It beholds a magnificent view because it’s located on the top of a hill. The Wat Mahathat is a Buddhist temple where dances are performed for Pu No and Na No which are recognized by locals as guardian spirits of the city. These temples hold a deep significance to the Lao people, to whom their Buddhist beliefs are deeply intertwined with their culture.

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