Pha That Luang was built in the 3rd Century. It is a stupa in the middle of Laos’ capital, Vientiane and impresses all who see the gold covering. It has had a difficult history and has needed several restorations through time, the most recent in the 1930s. It is rightly regarded as the symbol of Laos and its most significant monument even though there are two UNESCO World Heritage sites elsewhere in Laos.
How to get there
Vientiane is extremely accessible from abroad and international flights mean that anyone having a holiday in Laos may well start in this city. Certainly all Laos travel packages will include it in the itinerary.
Best time to visit
Monsoon season starts in May and lasts for six months but that does not mean no one visits during those months. The variations in South East Asian weather mean that Indochina tour packages are arranged all twelve months of the year.
Pha That Luang
Pha That Luang was originally a Hindu temple. Only later is it dais that monks brought the breastbone of Buddha here. In the 13th Century it was rebuilt but subsequently deteriorated to ruins. Vientiane became King Setthathirat’s capital, replacing Luang Prabang and he ordered that the temple was restored in 1566.
The main stupa is 45 metres tall and is surrounded by 30 smaller ones.
The golf leaf was always a target and Pha That Luang has been plundered by many; Chinese, Burmese and Siamese. It fell into ruin again after the Thai invasion of 1828 before the French arrived though the reconstruction did not happen until the 1930s. Even then there was further damage from Thai bombing though after World War II repairs were done once again.
There is plenty of choice to suit every budget with those on Laos tour packages able to select from a range before booking.