Buddha Park is also known as Xieng Khuan, or sometimes Wat Xieng Khuan, even though it's not a 'wat' at all. It's a 25 km drive outside of Vientiane, something that I skipped during my last visit, and wanted to be sure to see this time around. The park consists of over 200 Buddhist and Hindu statues, although it's a more compact park than you would expect to hold so many statues- some quite large, as well. Walking through the park, it feels like you're walking through something historical. something old. Not, as Hans snapped me back to reality that the park was built in the 1950's by a priest-shaman who was heavily influenced by both religions that are depicted in the park. The most well known, or perhaps easily identified sculpture is the large reclining Buddha near the entrance of the park.
But the large "pumpkin" also at the entrance of the park was something to behold as well. A large mouth opening lets you into the first of three floors, representing Hell, Earth, and Heaven. Once inside the pumpkin, you can walk around the outer hall and peer into little cut out windows of the respective scenes. I was taking video of "Hell" when I turned my camera sharply and scared myself silly when I saw the guard, spear in hand looking directly at the opening. Yes, a statue scared me silly.
The top of the pumpkin offered a really lovely view of the whole park. We sat in the shade, and took in the view, until I accidentally dropped my lens cap and it rolled down and off the pumpkin, signaling it was time for us to walk down and find it. (We did, just in case you were wondering.)
This dude below might have been my favorite. I have no idea who he is, or what exactly (I'm guessing it's a girl?) he is offering up, and to whom. Again, I'm reminded that I need to study up on Buddhism and Hinduism, especially if I'm going to continue to tease Momma that I'm going to convert.
Where we slept:
What I spent: