The Buddha Park is definitely a must-see attraction if you’re visiting the capital. It’s also called Xieng Khuan what can be translated as “Spirit City”. In the park you’ll see hundreds of sculptures of all sizes. Most of the sculptures embody deities and demons from Hinduism and Buddhism. But there are also some sculptures of humans and animals. Some of the highlights are a forty-meter-long reclining Buddha, a two-headed elephant and the Hindu gods Agni and Indra. Not to mention the giant pumpkin you surely won’t miss.
The pumpkin we’re talking about is a large bell-shaped sculpture. You can enter it via the head of a demon. As you can see in the picture below it’s a quite scary entrance. The pumpkin consists of three levels. You can walk through the corridors and climb the staircases, explore all of them. The different levels symbolize earth, heaven and hell. Admittedly a bit scary but goes well with the mystical aura around the entire Buddha Park. A great alternative to the other attractions in Vientiane!
History of the Buddha Park
Yes, the first time we were there, we also thought that the Buddha Park must be many centuries old. In reality this is not the case. In fact, the park was actually built in 1958 by Luang Pu Bunleua Sulilat. Luang Pu Bunleua Sulilat was a mystic, a spritual sculptor and a shaman devoted to both Hinduism and Buddhism. He mixed elements of the two religions and created something completely unique. Because of that and his charisma he had devotees all over the country. With them he built the Buddha Park. In 1975 Luang Pu Bunleua Sulilat fled from the Communist party and left Laos.
How to get to the Buddha Park
The Buddha Park is located about 25 kilometers southeast of Vientiane near the Thai-Lao border. You can get there by taxi, tuk tuk or bus. The bus is definitely the cheapest option. Should you choose a taxi (hard to find) or a tuk tuk, you will have to pay much more. With negotiating skills however, you can certainly negotiate a good price. If you want to take a bus, just head to Talat Sao Bus Station and watch out for bus number 14. You shouldn’t come too late, though. The Buddha Park is only opened from 8am to 5pm.
What else can you do here
The Buddha Park is quite big and therefore you can spend some time here. Fortunately, there are good opportunities to relax and recharge your batteries. In the park you’ll find a restaurant and some stalls where you can buy snacks and drinks. You will definitely need the latter. Because it can get pretty hot. Especially inside the pumpkin, sweating is inevitable. Next to the park are some rice and flower fields that you can pass through. If you want to see more, you can just drive to the Mekong. Remember, however, that you should not stay there at night. Since the Mekong is located on the border, it is forbidden to stay there from dusk. You might get problems with the border authorities.
So what are you waiting for? If you still need some more inspiration check out our gallery below!