We saw many wonderful and fascinating places when we took a few days trip to Laos during our time in Vietnam and Buddha Park was certainly one of the highlights. Located near Vientiane is a park that is filled with sculptures representing Buddhist and Hindu images. Built in 1958, the park is a popular tourist attraction for those who travel to Vientiane. Buddha Park is also called Xieng Kuan or Spirit City and has over 200 statues of various sizes. We visited the park with a guide who was able to explain the meaning behind many of the different statues, which made the experience even more interesting.
One of the main sculptures is a large, round building with a demon face as its entrance. It is a three story building meant to represent Hell, Earth, and Heaven. To enter the building, you walk through the mouth of the demon, also referred to as the jaws of hell. There are many statues inside each of the levels and when you make it to the top you are rewarded with views of the entire park. Another focal point of the park is a large, reclining Buddha statue. We saw many similar such statues in Laos, but this one was definitely interesting.
Even though the park is only a little over 60 years old, the statues look as though they are centuries old. The park is near the Mekong river, which separates Laos from Thailand. The same sculptor also built a park in Thailand after fleeing Laos in the 1970’s, but the park in Laos is the original park. To fully enjoy the park and take time to see the details of the statues from various angles, you should plan on spending 2 to 3 hours in Buddha Park. It is certainly a fascinating experience and is a contrast to visiting all of the various temples (wats) that are in Vientiane.