Bokeo’s Buddhist Temples & Shrines
Vat Pha Thad Souvanaphakham: Examine a 1,000-year-old temple on a Houay Xay hilltop overlooking the Mekong. Originally built in 1022, the small “Vat Phakham” has been restored several times over the centuries. The temple’s grounds also present a row of eight golden Buddha images, each in a different position.
Location: To reach the temple, head east of town on the main road, turn left at the speedboat landing, and climb the hill.
Vat Jom Khao Manilat: Climb the steep staircase in Houay Xay to Vat Jom Khao Manilat, and rest on its peaceful grounds. Constructed around 1880, the teak temple remains in pristine condition, and is joined by a sizeable golden stupa, majestic gong tower, and wonderful Mekong view.
Location: The temple’s staircase is in the centre of town, at the head of the road to the passenger pier.
Souvannakhomkham Buddhas: Journey to see ancient Buddhas in a field of abandoned brick stupas at the 1,000-year-old remains of the Souvannakhomkham Civilization in The Golden Triangle. Stop first to examine a massive headless Buddha image, the victim of bandits invading the ancient capital. Further down the road, pull into the Ban Done That’s Souvannakhomkham Visitor Centre and a short trail to an ancient 7-metre-tall Buddha image, one of Laos’ largest in its day.
Location: Souvannakhomkham’s Buddhas are located just off the River Road, about 50 km west of Houay Xay in The Golden Triangle area. The headless Buddha is about 6 km south of the Nam Kan River, and Ban Done is another 15-minute drive.