Loas @ Wat Xieng Thong

Luang Probang is a funny place, a small Unesco designated town, and at first you ask yourself why is it Unesco, and after a while you begin to understand. The temples like everywhere are plentiful, but this town has an authentic feel to it. A colonial town, wooden structures, a central market, people bustle among bikes, tourists and Monks.

This temple catches our eye, the Mosaic Art on Buddhist Temple of Wat Xieng Thong is tremendous, vibrant and stylish. Created in the 1950’s to commemorate the Buddha reaching Nirvana 2,500 years before, it is a mix between old and new.

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This Wat is a Royal temple built in 1559 on the banks of the Mekong river, and is one of the few temples that was not destroyed during the Black Flag Army invasion of 1887.

The main building’s hall houses a large sized buddha a place or worship. Large stencilled teak wood pillars in gold on black lacquer with floral motifs, animals, scenes of daily life and Jataka tales. These are the stories that tell about the previous lives of the Buddha, in both human and animal form.

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It makes sense that Unesco is there, to help add some order and protection to a town that is referred to as the Switzerland of Eastern Asia, a place where all cultures converged and still do today.

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