Wat Phou, Champasak

Quick Facts:

  • Location: at the base of mount Phu Kao, 6 kilometers from the Me Kong river in Champasack province
  • Name’s meaning: mountain temple
  • The temple was a mountain temple at the beginning and then becomes a Buddhist Worship temple
  • The temple’s biggest annual festival takes place on the full moon of the third lunar month

Wat Phou (or Vat Phu) in Lao language means 'temple on the mountain' is one of the oldest archaeological site in Laos. This temple is located in Champassak province along the Mekong River in the Southern-most part of Laos. It is about 670 kilometers far from Vientiane and surrounded by around 4000 islands on Mekong River (Siphandone).

Wat Phou is a a ruined Khmer temple complex built on as early as the 5th century, but the surviving structures date from the 11th to 13th centuries. It is famous for its unique structure and mysterious symbols. According to the legend, at first, this temple was built worship Badhecvara god. There is also Crethapura – the first capital of Chenla kingdom. Until now, many religious ceremonies and activities have taken place in Wat Phu. Coming there, tourists will be curious and fascinated by the mysteries and tales about Wat Phou.

Being in the temple Wat Phou with a museum displaying more than 100 stone statues, sculptures and amazingly beautiful curved patterns from the 5th century to the 11th century, tourists will wonder why how ancient people could do it. Moving the stone up to the mountain, carving on the stone with rudimentary tools but making extremely great works must have taken a lot of time and effort of ancient people.

Due to inevitable destruction and the harsh climate, undergoing thousand years, Wat Phou is still an attractive destination to tourists by the spectacular beauty of unique architecture and the spiritual mystery of a sacred land going along with people’s aspiration of a peaceful life in centuries.

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