The temple plays a mojor role in the daily live of Lao people and it is one of the most interesting place to visit while you are in Laos.
The temple compound is typically surrounded by a wall, and on the compound are different types of buildings and structures:
- Chedi - Een bell-shaped structure, usually gold plated en sometimes accessible for visitiors. Outside of Laos, this structure is called a Stupa or a Pagoda.
- Bot - A usually rectangular and big building, centrally located on the temple compound. It houses the most important Buddha statue of the temple.
- Viharn - The hall of prayers, a room for meditation, but als the room where the monks eat there meals. This hall also contains an important Buddha statue and some smaller images.
- Prang - A high and thin Khmer-style tower, symbolizing the mythical Meru mountain.
- Mondop (or Mondhop) - The library, a square based building with a nicely decorated tower on top of it. The sacred Buddhist scripts are kept in here.
- Sala - This pavillion building is open to all four sides, is accessible to anyone and is used for all kinds of occasions. You may often see the visitors of the temple sitting here, just taking a break.
- Bell Tower - This small tower is open on all sides. The big bell, used in the daily ceremonies, hangs here.
When visiting Laos, don't forget to enter at least some temples. Here are some interesting temples:
- Wat Choumkhong (Luang Prabang)
- Wat Ho Xiang (Luang Prabang)
- Wat Inpeng (Vientiane)
- Wat Khili (Luang Prabang)
- Wat Mahathat (Luang Prabang)
- Wat Mai (Luang Prabang)
- Wat Mixai (Vientiane)
- Wat Naluang (Luang Prabang)
- Wat Nong (Luang Prabang)
- Wat Ong Teu (Vientiane)
- Wat Phol Phao (Luang Prabang)
- Wat Phou (temple ruins in Champasak)
- Wat Si Muang (Vientiane)
- Wat Si Saket (Vientiane)
- Wat Siphoutthabath (Luang Prabang)
- Wat Sok Pa Luang (Vientiane)
- Wat Visoun (Luang Prabang)
- Wat Xieng Muan (Luang Prabang)
- Wat Xieng Thong (Luang Prabang)
Lao Temples abroad
If you are not in Laos, you may still have a chance to see a Lao Temple, as there are a few temples abroad: