Fodor's Expert Review Wat Mai
This small but lovely temple next to the Royal Palace compound dates from 1796. Its sweeping four-tier roof is characteristic of Luang Prabang's religious architecture, but more impressive are the magnificent wood carvings and gold-leaf murals on the main pillars and portico entrance to the temple. These intricate panels depict the last life of the Buddha, as well as various Asian animals. During the Boun Pimai festival (Lao New Year), the Phra Bang sacred Buddha image is carried from the Royal Palace compound to Wat Mai for ritual cleansing ceremonies.