People don’t really go to Laos for its temples. While it’s hardly Ayuthaya or Angkor Wat, Vientiane has some lovely architecture. Siamesecat and I spent a leisurely hour exploring How Pha Kaew which now functions as a museum of art and antiquities rather than a temple.
The style was a lot less formal and lacked the grandeur of other places in the region. But this gave the whole complex a rather relaxed feel, somehow as if they didn’t take themselves that seriously.
I liked this wooden structure beautifully gilded with gold leaf. The inside housed many treasures belonging to the city. It was a pity that the interior was poorly lit and the exhibits were placed rather haphazardly.
Laotian architecture, influenced by neighbouring Thailand, pays attention to small details. I enjoyed this naga carving…
… and absolutely adored the carvings on the eaves. I especially loved how this dragonfly was taking a breather on the dragon! Look carefully now.
Inside, the door panels had ornate carvings, again coated with gold leaf.
As in most Buddhist structures, there were Buddha statues all over the place. This tortoise stuck out amidst the many statues. I guess the poor guy doesn’t get much respect seeing as they had to put a “No Sitting” sign on him!