A good friend recently asked me what my favourite temple in Luang Prabang was. I had to think for a moment (because I could not remember the name) but then I told him and sent him a photo of it.
Well, with all the hype going on in Social Media sites I am certainly not going to reveal my favourite places here, but Vat Xieng Thong comes pretty close to being one of my favourites! It is certainly the most significant and finest example of a Lao temple.
It is worth to visit Vat Xieg Thong at various times a day, even though visitors have to pay an entrance fee. However, with the sun moving across the sky there are special atmospheric moments to be experienced in this temple, specially in the morning and in the late afternoon. It is also worth to wait out a group or two of tourists until the temple is peaceful and quiet again. I have been here probably a dozen times over the years and sometimes I just like to sit and watch the temple structures. And I always discover something new. It is specially awarding to sit in the large Congregational Hall when it is empty and experience your own temple atmosphere!
As with all large temples like the Borobudur, Angkor Wat or Shwedagon Pagoda, it is worth to walk around every building and every statue of Vat Xien Thong and see it from all sides. There is lots to be discovered! It is also worthwhile to do some reading about the temple’s architecture and it’s Buddha statues, which makes the visit more complete!