Wat Xiengthong

Wat Xiengthong, Luang Prabang

Wat Xiengthong
4.5
Architectural Buildings • Religious Sites
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Laos' most enchanting temple was built in 1560.
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2,269 reviews
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751
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180
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7

Agarwood C
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam10 contributions
Jan. 2021
I love the wood carving on the main door of the temple. It showed the respect of local people to the Buddha. Besides, there is a huge confetti flowers in the yard of the temple. When the sunshine hit the tree, the scenery is really amazing and enchanted.
Hoe you can visit this beautiful temple.
From Agarwood Channel ( Youtube )
Written 19 December 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Matias V
Espoo, Finland392 contributions
Dec. 2019 • Family
Beautiful temple and interesting surroundings. There are dragon boats and statues. In the temple there is a large gong that one can try. Really nice place and a good stop for walk in the town.
Written 16 October 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

LuizDutraNeto
Rio de Janeiro, RJ8,613 contributions
Jan. 2020
In the ancient city of Xien Thong (literally, "The Golden City"), almost at the junction of rivers Mekong and Nam Kham, King Setthathirath ordered, in 1559, the construction of a temple. It was named "Wat Xien Thong", the "Temple of the Golden City". King Setthathirath probably never imagined this would become the city's most beautiful temple, and even maybe of the whole Laos - the "Land of a Million Elephants". Later on, the city of Xien Thong was renamed to Luang Prabang, meaning "The Place of Buddha" and "Wat Xien Thong" became the royal temple, where kings were crowned and holy relics were kept. The temple was built according to the early Lao architecture features, normally referred to as "Luang Prabang Classic Style", with roofs that sweep low to the ground. Just amazing! Visit the temple, its central shrine (the holy "Sim"), side chapels, pavillions, residences and gardens. And before leaving, near its East Gate, do not dare to miss "The Royal Funerary Chapel", where the "Royal Funerary Carriage" and the "Royal Family Funerary Urns" are housed. Unmissable! Enjoy!
Written 13 October 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

OrderintheHouse
Brisbane2,173 contributions
Jan. 2020
My wife and I enjoyed a short 5 day private Wendy Wu “Laos in Focus” tour in January 2020 arranged through Asia DMC Laos, enjoying three nights in Luang Prabang and one night in Vientiane.

We visited great sights in Laos including a number of very imposing, ornate Buddhist temples. The first temple we visited was the lovely Wat Xieng Thong. How convenient that this temple was just a 2 minute walk from the charming, boutique Victoria Xiengthong Palace Hotel, the former residence of Sisavang Vatthana, the last king of Laos and Queen Khamphoui, where we stayed for three nights.

Wat Xieng Thong is one of the largest temples in Luang Prabang and a symbol of great historic importance. It is a Royal temple built by King Setthathirath in 1559 on the banks of the Mekong River. It is one of the few temples that was not destroyed during the Black Flag Army invasion of 1887 which ransacked and pillaged Luang Prabang. There are over twenty structures on the grounds including shrines, pavilions and residences, in addition to flower gardens and trees.

The Wat Xieng Thong’s most impressive building is the sim, the temple’s congregation hall, extensively decorated both inside and outside with intricate gold stencilling on black lacquer. It has a sweeping roof extending almost to the ground in tiered sections. On top of the roof is a gilded “Dok so faa”, an ornamental element consisting of 17 miniature stupas covered by 7 tiered parasols. Eight large maroon wooden pillars with gold stencilling support the roof inside the sim where a Buddha image takes centre stage. On the outside back wall of the sim is a most impressive mosaic, a glass montage, of the tree of life on a red background made in the 1960’s. The motif shows a standing Buddha at the top while at the bottom is a man walking and animals including a tiger and two peacocks. This is a wonderful piece of artwork indeed.

Another interesting building we enjoyed looking over was the Carriage House preserving the funeral carriage of King Sisavang Vong (1885-1959), King of Luang Prabang, 1904-46, and King of Laos, 1946-59. The main feature of this house is the impressive 12 metre high gilded wooden royal carriage at the entry door.

The Red Chapel is yet another building worth a look. The exterior of this building is adorned with simple mosaics describing a variety of scenes of traditional village life including trees, boats, carts, elephants. Houses, hunting and fishing. Regrettably we somehow overlooked taking a look inside this Chapel because we missed seeing the rare 2 metre reclining bronze Buddha. Never mind, these things can and do happen whilst travelling. It’s hard to capture everything.

We also visited the Boat Shelter where two decorative boats were being built for colourful races with competing Wats along the Mekong River each April and October.

Getting away from the temple for just a moment, there was an interesting sign that “caught my eye” in the temple complex in cartoon format providing eight colourful panels of the key “do’s and don’ts” for tourists in Laos. It promotes short, clear messages on eight subjects including photo etiquette, behaviour in temples, avoiding illegal drugs, to name just three. It is an excellent reminder that we tourists are guests in the countries we visit and that we need to show respect to the local people and their culture throughout our travels. A lot of clever thought went into each message.

Anyhow, I digress. Wat Xieng Thong was interesting, thought provoking and educational and a great introduction to our Lao temple experiences. In our view no traveller to Luang Prabang should leave out this attraction from their travel itinerary.
Written 29 May 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

theonlytag
Tyler, TX24 contributions
Jan. 2020
If you have time to visit only one wat (temple), Wat Xiengthong is the one! Most tourists visit Luang Prabang to experience the culture and tranquil atmosphere.
Written 8 May 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

milliesmum2016
Christchurch, New Zealand1,809 contributions
Jan. 2020
This is a large, imposing temple and is right down by the confluence, so is in an imposing site also. Very lovely, and opulent, this Wat is also a priority visit in LP. The applied decoration is outstanding and the upkeep is carefully, beautifully done so that this temple, which is 500 years old, looks fresh and bright and as lovely as the day the last piece of mosiac was added.
I made a mistake, in Luang Prabang, by not doing at least one guided tour of the Wats and sacred place. I advise you to do it because, although it's lovely wandering around taking in all the beauty and applied arts, I now think some proper explanation might have been good. However, I do have my Lonely Planet, so can at least do some post visit background research whilst in lockdown!
Written 28 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

richardintx
San Antonio, TX65 contributions
Feb. 2020 • Couples
Great example of a Buddhist temple. This gold-adorned temple was a great first-stop in LP. We enjoyed our guides (privately hired) explanation of the building and use. The shrine (leave your shoes outside) was great to see and we found a friendly cat on site.
Written 4 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jane
6 contributions
Feb. 2020
Nice, clean, the only unique thing appears to be some of the exterior art. The explanation of the funereal structures was interesting.
Written 2 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Boomeranger
Newcastle upon Tyne, UK509 contributions
Jan. 2020
This temple was beautiful with amazing colours. It was nice and quiet , but as we were leeaving a tour of Chines tourists came in and disturbed the tranquility of the temple.!
Written 23 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

MAYEMICH
Luxembourg147 contributions
Nov. 2019
Most temples and pagodas are nice but this one is particularly beautiful with its nice colours and peaceful atmosphere.
Written 20 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Wat Xiengthong

Wat Xiengthong is open:
  • Sun - Sat 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
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We recommend booking Wat Xiengthong tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 18 Wat Xiengthong tours on Tripadvisor