Wat Xieng Thong - Luang Prabang

Wat Xieng Thong

A magnificent 16th-century temple
adorned with intricate gold leaf designs,
Wat Xieng Thong is considered
the city's spiritual heart.

Wat Xieng Thong, also known as the Temple of the Golden City, is one of the most important
and impressive temples in Luang Prabang. It is located on the banks of the Mekong River and
is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Wat Xieng Thong was built in 1559 by King Setthathirath, the founder of Luang Prabang. It
was originally built to house the Phra Bang Buddha image, a sacred relic that was brought to
Luang Prabang from Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

Wat Xieng Thong is a beautiful example of Laotian Buddhist architecture. The temple is made
of brick and stucco and has a distinctive three-tiered, low-sweeping roof, with intricate gold
mosaic decorations, carvings and graceful lines.

The interior of the temple is also beautifully decorated. The walls are covered with murals
depicting Buddhist scenes, and the floor is made of polished wood.

Highlights:
• Mural paintings: The murals in Wat Xieng Thong depict scenes from Buddhist mythology and history.
• They are some of the finest examples of Laotian art.
• Woodcarvings: The woodcarvings in Wat Xieng Thong are exquisitely detailed.
• They depict a variety of subjects, including Buddhist deities, animals, and flowers.
• Sim (Main Hall): The heart of the complex, the Sim features stunning murals depicting stories from the Jataka tales, the Buddha's past lives.
• The golden Buddha statue inside radiates a sense of peace and serenity.
• The royal funerary carriage house, where it houses the funeral carriage, which stands 12 metres (39 ft) high and there are various urns for the members of the royal family.
• Tripitaka Library: This traditional library built in 1880 houses ancient Buddhist manuscripts and sacred drums used during ceremonies.
• Gardens: Take a leisurely stroll through the serene gardens, adorned with colorful flowers and statues of mythical creatures.
• Drum Tower: Added in 1961

Visiting Information:
• Opening hours: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM daily.
• Dress code: Visitors are required to dress modestly, covering shoulders and knees.
• Location: Thanon Sisavangvong, Luang Prabang.

Additional Tips:
• Allow at least 1 hour to explore Wat Xieng Thong.
• Guided tours are available for a more in-depth experience.
• Consider visiting early in the morning or late afternoon to avoid crowds.
• Photography is allowed inside the temple, but flash photography is prohibited.

Wat Xieng Thong is a must-see for any visitor to Luang Prabang. It is a beautiful and sacred
temple that is rich in history and culture.