Laos, one of the countries in Southeast Asia with untouched beauty, has gradually opened its door to the world. With the increased number of international flights arriving at Vientiane airport, visitors can explore the country and its provinces with ease. Situated 20 minutes away from Vientiane city is a magnificent Buddha Park, which is a popular hit for visitors who appreciate statues and stone carvings, not the traditional ones but unique and peculiar statues, which will blow your mind.
Magnificent yet peculiar
Xieng Khuan Buddha Park is situated close to the city of Vientiane, taking only 20 minutes by Tuk Tuk or city bus. To experience a localized travelling experience, you are encouraged to take the sheltered but open-air motorized vehicle - Tuk tuk. The ride will cost around 10,000 KIP (1.25 USD) per passenger but make sure you negotiate and finalise the price before boarding. Open from 8am to 6pm daily, the entrance fee to the park is around 8,000 KIP (1 USD).
Once you step into the park, you will be greeted by the pumpkin tower along with more than 200 statues of gods, demons and animals. The park was built in 1958 by Luang Pu Bunleua Sulilat, a monk who studied both Buddhism and Hinduism. This was one of the reasons as to why the park consists of statues of gods, demons and animals from both religions.
Ascend to the pumpkin tower for a good view
For photography lovers, embark to the 6-meter tall pumpkin tower, which looks slightly eerie from the outside because you have to walk into the “demon’s mouth”. The tower consists of narrow and dark staircases, which will be unsuitable for visitors with mobility problems. For those who are fit enough to climb up, you do not need tons of stamina because there are not many steps nor are they steep. There are small windows around the structure so you will get sufficient light walking within. Once you reach the top of the tower, you shall get a bird’s-eye view of the park and the statues. This is an extremely beautiful view, which is worth the climb for a glimpse and photo opportunities.
Reclining Buddha, the structure not to be missed
The 40 meter long reclining Buddha is one of the major structures in the park. You can admire the effort and time put into this beautiful piece of art. Besides this iconic structure, there are also many beautiful structures around the park which deserve a close look. You would spot some monks in orange robe around the park but this is not a place of worship. Do expect to spend at least one hour in the park and remember that the park is unsheltered, so do apply plenty of sunblock in this tropical country. You are encouraged to put on your cap or hat and sunglasses! There is also a small canteen in the park whereby you can buy drinks.
Appreciate the beauty of the statues
If you enjoy and appreciate stone statutes and have a particular interest in Buddhism and Hinduism, this park is sure to offer you an eye-opening experience. Each piece of statue is beautifully and artistically carved.
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