Xieng Khuan (Buddha Park)
The site known as Buddha Park is a bizarre collection of Buddhist and Hindu statues scattered around a riverside meadow, dominated by a gigantic reclining Buddha. Hundreds of huge concrete structures that combine Buddhist and Hindu philosophies are spread around representing a variety of deity forms. Fashioned by a purported holy man, the sculpture park was created to spread his beliefs and to reveal to mankind his ideas about the universe. This odd attraction is popular and has many unexpected treasures. There is amazing detail on many of the statues, which are not the run-of-the-mill kind seen all over Laos but in many cases are quite unique. There is fun to be had climbing and exploring: don't miss the giant pumpkin-like statue which one enters through the gaping mouth and ascends via steep internal steps to reach a viewing platform and a beautiful Tree of Life sculpture on the top. The park is a pretty area and visitors are free to touch, take photos and explore without much restriction which is refreshing. There is a restaurant at the park which serves decent food. Getting there takes a while but the rural scenery that is passed along the way makes the journey interesting in itself.
Address: Thanon Tha Deua, Vientiane, Laos
Opening times: 8am to 6pm