The beautiful and ancient temples of Vientiane, the capital of Laos, have earned the city a reputation for being an attractive destination for tourism. As a Buddhist country, Laos is home to over 1,600 pagodas scattered all over the country, and there are hundreds of them in Vientiane alone. Although the buildings, many of which were built in the 16th century, were destroyed and looted by Siamese forces in 1827, what remains is still very much worth a visit. One of those famous temples in Vientiane is Wat Si Saket.
Temple Wat Si Saket’s history
One of the few buildings that survived the destruction, the Wat Si Saket is the oldest existing temple in Vientiane. Its unique architecture, built in Siamese Buddhist style rather than the usual Lao Buddhist style, may have contributed to its survival.
Legend holds that invaders were attempting to attack the temple when the sky suddenly darkened, causing them to flee from Heaven’s anger. Its sim (central shrine hall) and the surrounding galleries house over 10,000 Buddha images, while its 400-year-old gallery keeps a collection of over 8,000 precious books.
Attractive activities in Wat Si Saket
Wat Si Saket is an ancient temple in Laos, so you can come here to explore the ancient vestiges, worship and admire the oldest memorabilia.
The Buddha statues here have many features and many mysteries. Buddhism has gone deep into the subconscious of the people of Laos, so things related to Buddhism also bring the most characteristic colors to the culture of the people here.
When visiting Wat Si Saket, take note
You need to keep in mind when visiting this ancient temple to choose the most appropriate outfit. Since Buddhism deals with dignity and respect, you should dress politely, politely, and discreetly.
Another well-known temples in Vientiane
Close to the Wat Si Saket is the Haw Phra Kaew, built for and named after the Emerald Buddha statue enshrined here until 1779. Initially, it was considered the royal temple because many members of Lao royalty came here to pray. As a result of conflicts with Thailand, the temple has been twice destroyed, and the statue was taken to Bangkok. The current statue in the temple is a Thai-made replacement copy. Today, the Haw Phra Kaew is no longer a place of worship but a museum that displays national treasures such as 18th-century bronze Buddha images and inscribed ancient steles.
Another temple is located in the same area as Wat Si Saket and Haw Phra Kaew is a weathered stupa named That Dam (“Black Stupa”). It’s unknown when construction on this stupa began. Locals believe that the stupa is home to a seven-headed Naga that tried to protect them from Siamese invaders, and also that the stupa was once covered in gold that was looted by those very invaders. At least the last part is partially verifiable, as the stupa’s plaster has long since crumbled off. It looks unassuming, even a bit sad, compared to the previous beautiful destinations. However, it still stands quietly in the middle of a roundabout as a reminder of times gone by, and perhaps even the fragileness of peace and beauty.
Above is extremely useful information for you to explore Wat Si Saket temple for your reference. If you are wondering about traveling in Laos, choose Ftrip to have interesting experiences in this beautiful Laos.
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