Wat Ho Phra Keo in Vientiane, Laos

Of the many different temples that we visited in Vientiane, Wat Ho Phra Keo (also known as Haw Phra Kaew) was unique and different for a variety of reasons. Although several of the temples have gardens, the garden that leads to the entrance of the temple was very well groomed and colorful. It was also the one temple where we saw the most tourists during our visit to Vientiane. There is a nominal entrance fee in order get into the temple grounds, but it was included with our tour.

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Walking Around the Temple
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One of the Many Naga Statues that Guard the Temple
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Well Groomed Garden
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Statue of Buddha
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Ancient Artwork Depicting the Ascent Towards Heaven

Built in 1565, the temple is quite beautiful. Wat Ho Phra Keo is located just down the street from Wat Si Saket, which is a Buddhist museum as well as a temple, so it is worth visiting both. There is also a museum and gift shop on the temple grounds and one of the most interesting exhibits during our visit were some ancient carvings made on petrified tree trunks. There were also some ancient, stone pots on display in the garden.

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Carvings on a Tree Stump
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Giant Stone Pot
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Stained Glass Window
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Colorful Flowers
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View of the Temple

As with many of the temples, the inside of the main temple in Wat Ho Phra Keo is adorned with colorful images depicting the life of Buddha. There are also plenty of ancient statues of Buddha as well as other historical artifacts. We spent about thirty minutes walking the grounds and enjoying the garden and seeing the beautiful artwork.

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Another Ornate Carving
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Standing at the Door to the Temple
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Statue in the Garden
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Ancient Tablets and Artifacts
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Turtle Statue on the Porch
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Buddha
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More Artwork
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View of the Garden as You Enter the Grounds

 

Wat That Luang Neua in Vientiane, Laos

Of the many temples that we visited during our time in Vientiane, Wat That Luang Neua was one of the most interesting. From the reclining Buddha statue to the colorful images depicting the life of Buddha, it is truly a beautiful temple. Located near the famous Pha That Luang, it is certainly worth taking the time to visit during a walking tour of Vientiane.

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Reclining Buddha at the Temple
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Colorful Paintings
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Golden Statue
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Monks in the Temple
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View of the Temple Ceiling
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Ceremonial Items Inside the Temple

The golden statues are all quite interesting as you walk around the temple grounds. The temple itself is very open and has paintings depicting the life of Buddha all over the ceiling. The colors are so vibrant and the paintings are so interesting that one could spend hours looking at them. Local residents were setting up tables to provide food to the monks who worship there. It was certainly fascinating for us to see them going through their daily rituals.

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More Monks in the Temple
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Setting Up for Lunch
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Entrance to a Temple Building
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Openness of the Temple
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Detailed Artwork
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Buddha Statue

There are so many wats, or temples, to see in Vientiane, but Wat That Luang Neua is definitely a highlight. Considering how hot it was during our time in Vientiane, any time in the shade or inside of building was certainly a welcome relief. Going to several of the temples to see how they vary is something that we would definitely recommend.

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Standing In the Temple Courtyard
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Visually Stunning Temple
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Details on a Temple Building
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Telling the Story of Buddha
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Depiction of a Statue that Was Under Construction
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Another View of the Golden Statue
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Temple Building
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Close-Up of the Reclining Buddha

 

 

Wat Si Saket in Vientiane, Laos

Wat Si Saket is a Buddhist temple and museum in Vientiane, Laos. There are many wats, or temples, in Vientiane and Wat Si Saket was the first that we visited during our day-long tour of Vientiane’s inner city. Built in 1818, it might be the oldest wat as many of the wats have been destroyed and rebuilt due to the many wars and invasions of Laos. Because it is a museum as well as a temple, there are many ancient Buddhist statues on display within the temple grounds.

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Reclining Buddha
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Ancient Buddha Statues on Display
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Drum Tower
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Temple Prayer Building
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Offerings and Golden Statues
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Details on the Roof

The Wat Si Saket was built in the Siamese style of Buddhist architecture, making it different than a lot of the other wats that we visited during our tour. The architecture and artwork were definitely fascinating with so many different details on the various buildings. As with most wats, there were stupas all around the exterior wall of the temple where important Buddhist priests and other citizens are entombed. There is also a typical drum tower, which the priests use to call people to the temple for prayer.

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Walking the Grounds of Wat Si Saket
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Stupas in the Garden
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Entrance to the Wat
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Buddha Statue
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More Ornate Statues
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Gong at the Main Temple

Because the inner city of Vientiane is so walkable, it is easy to visit multiple wats in a single day. Starting with Wat Si Saket is a perfect starting point since it is open to the public from 8:00 to 17:00 seven days a week. It might seem strange to have so many temples in a country that is communist, but as it was explained to us, the political system is communist, the economy is capitalist, and the majority of the people are Buddhist.

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Colorful Artwork of Naga
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Different Style of Statue
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More Stupas in the Garden
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Temple Grounds
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More Buddha Statues
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Temple Roof
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Golden Buddha Statues
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More of the Courtyard
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Colorful Flowers