Wat Ho Phra Kaew Description:
Wat Ho Phra Kaew once held Thailand’s famous Emerald Buddha, one of the most iconic images of the Buddhist religion in Southeast Asia.
Setthathirath became the King of Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand after inheriting the throne from his maternal grandfather in 1546. The next year his father, the King of Lan Xang (current day Laos), died and Setthathirath set off for home bringing the Emerald Buddha with him from Chiang Mai. After consolidating his power in the north, Setthathirath had the Emerald Buddha installed in Wat Ho Phra Kaew, the royal chapel inside his palace’s grounds.
The statue remained in the sanctuary for more than 200 years until the Kingdom of Siam (now Thailand) sacked the city of Vientiane in the late 18th century, razing the complex to the ground, and the Emerald Buddha was installed in Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok where it still resides today. The temple was rebuilt again in the 19th century only to be destroyed by another Siamese invasion. The current structure is a French reconstruction completed in 1942.
Now a museum, Wat Ho Phra Kawe is an excellent repository of traditional Laotian religious art and scriptures. The gilded throne that once held the Emerald Buddha is on display, as well as numerous wooden carvings, bronze drums, and Buddhist scriptures written on palm leaves.
Best Time to Visit Wat Ho Phra Kaew:
Generally speaking, the best sightseeing weather in Vientiane falls between November and May during the cooler dry season in Laos. The temperature begins to climb in June and the heat continues through October, but the second half of the year sees frequent but short rain showers that provide cooling relief in the mornings and afternoons.
How to get to Wat Ho Phra Kaew:
Wat Ho Phra Kaew is located in Vientiane, the capital of Laos. The temple is just down the street from That Luang temple. Our guests typically reach the area in a private vehicle while enjoying a private luxury tour of Laos.
Wat Ho Phra Kaew Highlights:
Cultural, architecture, and history enthusiasts will find plenty of interesting items to study in Wat Ho Phra Kaew’s well-kept museum.
The majority of Wat Ho Phra Kaew’s visitors are Buddhists, and temple has a strict dress code requiring visitors to wear clothing that covers at least their shoulders and thighs while exploring the grounds.