Buddha Park, also known as Xieng Khuan, which translates to ‘spirit city’, is an alfresco sculpture park in Vientiane, Laos. The park is famed for its life-size sculptures of Buddha and Hindu deities.
The park is located mere minutes away from the Laos-Thailand border. It is within easy distance of the Friendship Bridge. If you are staying at an apartment in Vientiane, the likes of Somerset Vientiane, the park is only 25km away. It can be reached by either taxi or bus.
Buddha Park, built in 1958, was the brainchild of Luang Pu Bunleua Sulilat, a monk and sculptor. The sculptures bear testament to his background in both Buddhism and Hinduism.
The giant statues depict Buddha, Hindu gods, demons and animals. They are unconventional in appearance and bear intricate details. Some highlights include the 40m reclining Buddha, statues of Shiva, Vishnu and Indra, a 3-headed elephant.
Giant pumpkin sculpture
A notable attraction is the 3-storey high ‘pumpkin’ sculpture. The entrance to this quirky dome-shaped structure is designed in the shape of a demon’s mouth. The interior showcases themed sculptures, while a stone ladder leads to the top. The 3 storeys are meant to represent hell, earth and heaven.
The park stays open from 8 am to 5 pm but visit during the morning hours. Although it is not a religious site, the park is considered sacred. Hence wear modest attire. Refreshments are available at the park’s riverfront café.