Laos: Luang Prabang – Wat Xieng Thong Temple

This temple is one of the most important temples in Laos and until 1975 this is where the Lao Kings were crowned. The temple dates back to 1559 and is considered very representative of Laotian art and religious traditions and devoid of any foreign influences. The temple is lavishly decorated with gold and precious stone encrustations on the walls depicting the life of Buddha but also scenes from traditional life of Laotians. Overall, it feels and looks very different from Thai temples – it’s beauty is understated, the building are not massive or imposing, but the decoration detail is truly stunning. There is a also a hall where an entire traditional barge with the dragon heads naga (front) is kept. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site.