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Why Wat Si Saket is special ?
Wat Sisaket is one of the oldest standing Buddhist temples in Vientiane and hence, is a national symbol of the country’s religion. The temple was built in Siamese style on the orders of Lao King Anouvong in 1818.
Wat Si Saket located in Vientiane is famous for its cloister wall housing thousands of tiny Buddha images and rows with hundreds of seated Buddhas. These images mainly date from the 16th and 19th centuries and come in all sizes and are made from wood, stone and bronze – more than 6,800 Buddhas in total.
Located opposite the Presidential Palace, the temple was built by Chao Anuvong, the last king of the Lan Xang Kingdom in early Bangkok-style architecture mixed with its own unique style. It survived the Siamese-Lao war of 1828 and has become the oldest Buddhist monastery in Laos.
What to explore at Wat Si Saket?
If visiting the temple early in the morning, visitors will come across the many locals that go to pray and make merit as well as to offer food to the monks. It is a charming daily ceremony to witness. The temple is quite shady as it is surrounded by tropical fruit trees.
Wat Si Saket is not only famous for the interior walls of the cloister but it also has beautiful architecture and layout with history dated back to 1818. Among the many interesting features there are its lovely surrounding verandas, an ornate five-tiered roof, a drum tower, a small library building with a Burmese-style roof and the flowered ceiling of the ordination hall.
Art enthusiasts will be thrilled to see many figurines and sculptures fashioned by highly skilled craftsmen such as the five-metre long beautiful detailed wooden naga (in Sanskrit, it means serpent deity) as well as a Khmer-style Buddha seated on a coiled naga.
How to get to Wat Si Saket?
Sisaket Temple is located in the Centre of the city of Vientiane, Laos, along with other monuments as the That Dam Stupa, the Haw Pha Kaeo or the Presidential Palace. The exact address is the beginning of the Avenue Lang Xang.
From the morning market go up to the Presidential Palace on Lane Xang Avenue, turn left to Samsenthai Road. Walk about 1 minute and you’ll encounter Wat Ho Phrakeo on your left, another temple worth a visit.
- “The oldest surviving temple”
- “Beautiful Temple”
- “The beauty is inside the hall”
- “Awesome Temple complex.”
- “Unmissable wat”
Wat Si Saket, Vientiane, Laos
Tips for you
From the outside it doesn't look like much, but once you go into the main ordination hall, you'll be stunned by the beautiful murals still adorning the walls. Yes, they are in need of conservation/preservation, but that work is happening now. Slowly.There are more than 10,000 niches in the cloisters and ordination hall, each containing at least one Buddha statue. Very cool!5,000 kip per person. Make sure you have a sarong if you're wearing shorts. If not, they'll lend you one.
If you only see one thing then make sure its this wat. Its the oldest in town and visiting it is like taking a step into the past. Its built on a very human scale so feels intimate. Don't miss the murals in the main building and the info about their restoration.
loved this temple. lots of buddas lined up outside. We got to do a Q and A with a monk which was very educational.
From the outside it doesn't look like much, but once you go into the main ordination hall, you'll be stunned by the beautiful murals still adorning the walls. Yes, they are in need of conservation/preservation, but that work is happening now. Slowly. There are more than 10,000 niches in the cloisters and ordination hall, each containing at least one Buddha statue. Very cool! 5,000 kip per person. Make sure you have a sarong if you're wearing shorts. If not, they'll lend you one.