Great Sacred Stupa (Pha That Luang)

Attraction Pha That Luang Published on: 13-11-2015

1 hours 30 mins
08:00 AM - 04:00 PM
09:00 AM
10:30 AM
First-time visit
Attraction
Historic
Must see
Kids
Architecture
Temple & Monument
0.61 USD

Great Sacred Stupa (Pha That Luang) is good for

Good for family with kids Family with kids Good
Good for senior Senior Good
Good for couple Couple Good
Good for solo Solo Good
Good for group Group Good
  • Highly recommended by fellow travellers.
The Pha That Luang or “Great Stupa” is the most important Buddhist monument in Laos.The large golden stupa in Vientiane is believed to enshrine a breast bone of the Buddha.

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Why Great Sacred Stupa (Pha That Luang) is special ?

The Pha That Luang, meaning "Great Sacred Stupa", is the most sacred monument of Laos and the national symbol. You find it on the national seal, Lao currency and countless other places. If you visit the capital, the Pha Thai Luang is a must-see.


With a total height of 147.6 feet, the splendid structure was constructed on three levels with a soaring stupa surrounded by 30 small stupas, all covered by gold leaf to demonstrate the grandeur and splendor of the kingdom. Legend has it that the temple was built as a Hindu temple in the 3rd century to hold the breastbone of Lord Buddha but was remade in the 13th century as a Khmer temple which fell into ruin. However, during the Siamese invasion the stupa was destroyed again and was reconstructed in 1930s based on the drawings of the original. Thus the stupa gives a breathtaking insight into the history and culture of Laos. Illuminated at night, it's even more splendid.


Come in November, when Lao's most important Buddhist festival - the Boun That Luang Festival is taking place in Vientiane, mainly at the That Luang, visitors will see throngs of pilgrims coming to pay homage to the stupa. And colorful celebrations are held such as parade, live music and religious ceremony.


Source:  http://www.indochinaodysseytours.com/

What to explore at Great Sacred Stupa (Pha That Luang)?

The pagoda is surrounded by cloister walls with small windows. The galleries on the inside of the cloister walls contain ancient Laos and Khmer artifacts like statues, many of them badly damaged, inscribed steles and other sculptings. Among them is a statue of King Jayavarman VII of the Khmer empire.


The Pha That Luang consists of three levels. On top of the first level wall are hundreds of sema stones that mark the sacred area. At the center of each side of the wall is a prayer gate called Haw Wai, an open structure with a double roof containing a Buddha image. The stairs to it are guarded by Naga snakes.


On top of the wall marking the second level are hundreds of sema stones and 30 small stupas. Arched gates lead to the third level that measures 30 by 30 meters and contains the 45 meter high stupa. The upper part of the stupa resembles an elongated lotus bud topped with a multi tiered parasol.


Source: https://www.renown-travel.com/

How to get to Great Sacred Stupa (Pha That Luang)?

The golden stupa is located on Thanon That Luang a few kilometers North East of the city center. It is found about 500 meters East of Kaysone Phomvihane road (road 13) that runs North from Patuxai monument. The easiest way to get there from the center of town is by private tuk tuk which will cost around 60,000 Kip.


Source: https://www.renown-travel.com/

Selling points

  • “A Stupa with a long History"
  • “An Impressive Structure”
  • “Symbol of Laos”
  • “Important national monument, must see.”
  • “Beautifully serene”
3 days in Vientiane for backpackers

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Duration
3.0 days
Estimated
789.16 USD
Total travel distance
km
Number of places
25 places

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Location

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Pha That Luang

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Tips for you

  • It's a 20 min ride from the city centre by Tuk Tuk.
    Transportation
  • The surrounding parking lot and walkways are very expansive.
    Things to do
  • You can buy water and fruit on the grounds
    Food
  • Lots of opportunities for stunning photos but also a very hot place in mid-day.
    Photography
  • Go during the That Luang Festival, and one can see the festivities, and stalls of all kind being put up for nearly a week.
    Experience
  • Best visiting time is early morning, when few tourists are around.
    Timming
  • Be sure to visit the Lao Interpretation Centre right when leaving the Stupa compound towards the city centre side
    Things nearby
  • Entrance to the surrounding buildings and temples is free.
    Ticket and Pricing
  • Every November when the Boun That Luang Festival is held in Vientiane
    Events

Reviews

TripAdvisor View more

Unfortunately I was ill the day I went to see this, so I only saw part of it before needing to quit and return to my hotel. I will need to revisit, as what I did see was beautiful.The Great Stupa was the part I saw; I took a slow wander around it, it's pretty from all angles, and there are a handful of Buddhas to see, and some old statues and fallen decorations from elsewhere in the temple grounds.The whole place is widely set, with a short walk between each site and no cover for shade, so be prepared for that (this is what did me in). You can buy water and fruit on the grounds, and there was a man with a number of caged birds selling 'karma' walking around (you pay to release a bird or two, instakarma).

TripAdvisor View more

I spent about about 40 minutes wandering round, it was a bit of a trek but worth the visit. There are a few vats to see on the outside and I paid 5000 kip to enter the Great Stupa but its nothing special inside. For a city that for me didn't have a great deal to see, it wasn't too bad.

TripAdvisor View more

...and the Great Stupa is really interesting as a place to wander around. We didn't bother to pay to go in as you can see plenty from the outside. Be aware if you walk it's a bit of a trek; it took us maybe 30 minutes from Patuxai. It's still impressive though and we were pleasantly surprised by the lack of tourists.

TripAdvisor View more

Unfortunately I was ill the day I went to see this, so I only saw part of it before needing to quit and return to my hotel. I will need to revisit, as what I did see was beautiful. The Great Stupa was the part I saw; I took a slow wander around it, it's pretty from all angles, and there are a handful of Buddhas to see, and some old statues and fallen decorations from elsewhere in the temple grounds. The whole place is widely set, with a short walk between each site and no cover for shade, so be prepared for that (this is what did me in). You can buy water and fruit on the grounds, and there was a man with a number of caged birds selling 'karma' walking around (you pay to release a bird or two, instakarma).

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