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Laos Sights

Wat Phu

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Updated 04/03/2013

Fodor's Review

Wat Phu sits impressively on heights above the Mekong River, about 8 km (5 miles) south of Champasak, looking back on a centuries-old history that won it UNESCO recognition as a World Heritage Site. Wat Phu predates Cambodia's Angkor Wat—Wat Phu's hilltop site was chosen by Khmer Hindus in the 6th century AD, probably because of a nearby spring of freshwater. Construction of the wat continued into the 13th century, at which point it finally became a Buddhist temple.

Much of the original Hindu sculpture remains unchanged, however, including representations on the temple's lintels of the Hindu gods Vishnu, Shiva, and Kala. The staircase is particularly beautiful, its protective nagas (mystical serpents) decorated with plumeria, the national flower of Laos. Many of the temple's treasures, including pre-Angkor–era inscriptions, are preserved in an archaeology museum that is part of the complex.

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Sight Information

Address:

8 km (5 miles) southwest of Champasak, Champasak, Laos

Phone:

/No phone

Sight Details:

  • 30,000 kip
  • Daily 8–4:30 (from 4:30 to 6 one can purchase special after-hours tickets for 40,000 kip)

Updated 04/03/2013

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