Wat Wisunalat

Attraction Visounlath Rd, Luang Prabang, Laos Published on: 13-11-2015

1 hour
08:00 AM - 05:00 PM
08:00 AM
09:00 AM
Second-time visit
Temple & Monument
1.00 USD

Wat Wisunalat is good for

Good for family with kids Family with kids Good
Good for senior Senior Good
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The Wat Wisunalat is Luang Prabang’s oldest temple. It is also known as Wat Visoun and Wat Visounnarat was founded in 1512.

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Why Wat Wisunalat is special ?

The temple houses an important collection of ancient Buddha images. On the grounds are a sim of fairly plain architecture and the That Pathum, a large Singhalese style stupa.

The temple burned down in 1887 when Luang Prabang was largely destroyed and looted by the Black Flag Army, a militia group from China. It was rebuilt in 1898.

An engraving made by Louis Delaporte, a French explorer who travelled extensively in Cambodia and Laos in the 1860’s and 1870’s shows a much more elegant and ornate sim structure built early 16th century. The print shows a large temple, its roof supported by massive 30 meter high wooden pillars.

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Records suggest that the original was quite spectacular, with some 4,000 trees needed to complete its construction. The dozen pillars that supported the interior were each 100 feet tall and the building's exterior was made entirely of wood.

The impressive scale of the temple didn't sway the Black Flag invaders, who razed it in 1887. A decade later work began to rebuild the temple using brick and plaster, much to the relief of Luang Prabang's remaining forests. While the new structure tries to recreate the original style in brick, featuring many wooden balustrades in the windows, it doesn't really pull it off. Nevertheless the site remains an important repository of religious art, including a large number of cast Buddha statues.

What to explore at Wat Wisunalat?

The Wat Wisunalat is an active temple. The resident monks live in the kuti, the monks private quarters. As is the case with many Buddhist temples, the grounds contain a large Bodhi tree, a tree much venerated because it was a Bodhi tree under which the Buddha meditated and reached enlightenment.

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How to get to Wat Wisunalat?

The temple is found next to the Wat Aham on Thanon Wisunalat, South of Mount Phousi and Kingkitsarath road. Much of the town can be reached on foot. A tuk tuk or jumbo to the temple will cost between 10,000 (about US$ 1.30) and 15,000 Kip (about US$ 2) depending on the distance.

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

Selling points

  • Craftsmanship at its best
  • An interesting templez
  • Well worth to visit
  • An unforgettable experiences
  • Unique 16th century Singhalese style stupa
3 Days in Luang Prabang

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3.0 days
629.86 USD
Total travel distance
Number of places
11 places




Visounlath Rd, Luang Prabang, Laos

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Tips for you

  • Do not turn your back on Buddha
  • If you don’t want walking to go up there, you can rent a tuk tuk jumbo to the temple will cost between 10,000 (about US$ 1.30) and 15,000 Kip (about US$ 2) depending on the distance.
  • The watermelon stupa is located in the courtyard.
    What to see
  • Bring your own camera to take some nice photos
    What to bring
  • The temple is found next to the Wat Aham on Thanon Wisunalat. You actually must reach up by food. Bring your good shoes
    What to bring
  • Wearing a appropriate dressed and comfort shoes
    What to wear
  • Remember to leave your shoes during time in insite
  • Do not make too noisy in here. Must be respect all terms of temple
  • Should go here in the morning time


TripAdvisor View more

Built by and named after the King in the 16th century, it is the holiest temple of the city, though rebuilt after it was destroyed by the invading Black Flag marauders from South China. The watermelon stupa is located in the courtyard. The older part of the building is wood construction, whereas the later parts added have more stone. The images stored are relics considered to be objects of art.

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