WAT SI SAKET – THE LEADING BUDDHIST TEMPLE IN VIENTIANE
Wat Si Saket (or Wat Sisaket) is the most significant Buddhist temple that sit in the heart of Vientiane, Laos. The construction year remains unknown but it is believed that the compound was constructed somewhere early in the 19th Century. Due the fact that it houses over 1000 Buddha images, it is, surely, one of the richest Laotian monastery in terms of religion and tradition.
King Anouvong, the last king of Vientiane, has decided to build Wat Si Saket near the Royal Palace. Consequently, the temple is at the end of Lane Xang Road, facing the Palace. This is the oldest and only temple that remains the original design through history. In contrast, the temple Haw Phra Kaew, which is exactly across, had been rebuilt 3 times.
The temple follows Siamese style of Buddhist architecture rather than Lao style. But still, it is a architect mixture of Thai and Laos. That leads to the fascinating design of Ordination Hall with alluring woodcarving pattern.In addition, some believe that the similarity between Wat Si Saket and Thai Buddhist temples was the reason that the Siamese army spare this temple.
The cloister houses thousands of Buddha image in various mudras. Most of them are from 16th century to 19th century, comes in all sizes and material: wood, stone, bronze, silver, etc.
If visiting the temple in the morning, tourists may spot many locals that go to the temple to pray and offer food to the monks. This is an enchanting daily ceremony to observe.
Beside the inner design, the temple is also famous for its outer architect. Along with many lovely tropical fruit trees surrounding the cloister, there are a charming surrounding verandas, a drum tower, a five-tiered roof, and a small library with a roof following Burmese-style and flowered ceiling.
The entrance to the monastery includes the impressive Naga guarding.
Buddha of Wat Si Saket
One of the reasons that make the temple religiously famous is 7,000 Buddha statues in the galleries. The sculptures chain represents different stages of Buddha’s life. While Most of them are mounted to the wall, the large ones, however, sit on various levels of shelves.
Opening hours and entry ticket
Opening hour: 8:00 to 12:00, 13:00 to 16:00 everyday
Entrance ticket: 5,000 Kip (~0.6 US$, see Lao currency Kip)
How to get to Wat Si Saket:
Since the temple sits in the center of Vientiane, Laos, at the end of Lane Xang Avenue, near the Haw Phra Kaew as well as the Presidential Palace. Therefore, tourists can get to the temple on foot easily. Otherwise, hiring a tuk-tuk won’t cost much neither.