Wat Xieng Thong

Wat Xieng Thong

Considered the most enchanting wat in a land full of enchanting wats, Wat Xieng Thong, built in 1559, is a peaceful and elegant place balanced at the end of Luang Prabang’s peninsula. Stepping into the complex, the importance of the temple resonates throughout – it was here that the coronations of the Lao kings took place, and around the walls that many wars and raids raged, with the wat luckily escaping harm every time. As you admire the gilding, mosaics and sweeping roofs, take a moment longer to gaze at the magical ‘tree of life’ mosaic on the wall of the main temple building, and the mirrored elephant heads nearby. 

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Five Facts About
Wat Xieng Thong

The Wat Xieng Thong complex contains over 20 structures including shrines, pavilions and residences

In 1887, the city was sacked by the Black Flag Army but the wat was spared as the leader had studied there as a monk

Wat Xieng Thong means ‘monastery of the golden city’

The wat’s low-reaching sweeping roof and rich decoration are classic examples of the Luang Prabang style of architecture

Many of the frescoes and murals within the wat’s buildings depict scenes from Buddha’s life, including unusual ones of Buddhist hell

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