Pha That Luang Description:
Pha That Luang is the city of Vientiane’s most iconic Buddhist shrine and temple.
The structure was first erected over the remains of a 12th century Khmer Empire Hindu sanctuary in 1566 at the behest of King Setthathirath when he moved his court from the former capital of Luang Prabang.
Over the course of the next three centuries, Vientiane was repeatedly sacked by invaders from neighboring kingdoms. After a successful invasion in 1828, the Kingdom of Siam (Thailand) sacked the city and its temples, and left the entire area in ruins to be reclaimed by the jungle. French colonial architects attempted to rebuild the structure in 1900, but the building works failed because of poor design. A second attempt in the 1930s succeeded, but after an air raid during the Franco-Thai War in 1940, Pha That Luang had to be rebuilt again.
The temple’s central feature is a 146-foot-heigh stupa painted in gold thought to contain a bone relic left from the cremation ceremony of Buddha. The shrine is thought to have been originally covered in gold, but the precious metals were likely removed during any one of the numerous invasions that struck the city of Vientiane between the 16th and 19th centuries. Hundreds of Buddha statues line the interior of the compound’s walls.
Best Time to Visit Pha That Luang:
In general, Laos’s weather is the best for sightseeing during the cooler dry months between November and May. The temperature begins to rise in June, and the hotter weather comes with increased chances of rain that last into October.
How to get to Pha That Luang:
Pha That Luang is located in Vientiane, the capital of Laos. Our guests typically reach the Buddhist temple and shrine in a private vehicle with their English speaking guide while exploring Vientiane on a tour of Laos.
Pha That Luang Highlights:
Phat That Luang occupies a place in Laotian culture as a symbol of perseverance. It’s a must-see sight on any luxury tour of Laos.
Laos is predominately Buddhist, and both sexes tend to dress modestly in clothing that covers shoulders to ankles. When visiting Buddhist temples in the country, it’s best to dress modestly in keeping with local traditions.