An eclectic mix of over 200 Buddhist and Hindu statues set in a park on the Mekong is a must see while exploring the capital of Vientiane.
Getting there: Getting a truck taxi from the centre costs around 80,000 Kip for the 30-40 minute journey which can be split between 6+ people
Costs: Entrance fee: 5,000 Kip + 12,000 Kip for the taxi
This is one of the highlights of the fairly limited selection of things to do in Vientiane. Situated about 25km outside of Vientiane on the banks of the Mekong river, sits this statue park which was first started in 1958. It consists of over 200 statues from both the Buddhist and Hindu religions.
The statues are made of concrete and are a mixture of traditional images and weird creations which resemble half human, half animal creatures. There are images of Gods, animals, humans and mixtures of all three. Along as numerous images of Buddha and Buddhist imagery there is an interesting mix of Hindu deities spread throughout the area as well.
The 200 statues are fairly tightly packed together so you aren’t likely to walk more than 100 meters to get between all of them. The main attraction is a 40 metre long lying Buddha which takes up most of the left hand side of the park. The tallest statue can easily be seen from the opposite side of the Mekong, which is actually Thailand.
The standout piece was also the most interactive. At the front end of the park is a three storied statue which you can climb in. Entering through a 9 foot high demon mouth, each of the three levels depict the journey from hell to heaven as you ascend. On the first level is the depiction of hell, the second is purgatory and on the third you reach heaven. At heaven you can step out onto the roof and get panoramic views over the whole of the statue park, which is an awesome site.
By far the best thing to do while in Vientiane, it’s easy to spend a few hours marvelling at the statues. The statue park is fairly modern in comparison to other religious sites throughout Southeast Asia. What makes it interesting is the combination of Buddhist and Hindu deities which was intentionally put under one banner by the creator, Bunleua Sulilat.