Buddha Park or Xieng Khuan is one of the most eccentric tourist sight of Laos. As the capital of Laos offers very little to see, a day trip from Vientiane to Buddha Park makes a great addition to your itinerary in Laos.
Buddha Park (Xieng Khuan) was started in 1958 by Bunleua Sulilat, a Thai mystic and sculpture artist. His statues in the sculpture park combine Hindu and Buddhist mythologies with Sulilat’s own additions, creating imaginative and detailed figures of Gods and other supernatural creatures.
How to get to Buddha Park from Vientiane?
Buddha Park is about 25 kilometers southeast of Vientiane. Bus 14 from Vientiane to Buddha Park costs about 6000 Lao Kip (0.7$). The bus leaves from the central bus station (Talat Sao) of Vientiane every fifteen minutes. If you’ve downloaded MAPS.ME, the bus is even easier to find, as “Bus 14 to Buddha Park” is marked on the offline map.
The bus ride from Vientiane to Buddha Park takes about one hour. Just don’t get out of the bus too early – the bus first stops by the Friendship Bridge between Laos and Thailand, where plenty of tourists with heavy luggage will drop off. The entrance fee of Buddha Park is about 5000 Lao Kip (0.6$).
A camera fee is mentioned in the Lonely Planet guide and the fee is mentioned on a sign in the ticket booth. However, the officers refused our extra money when we tried to pay it. So, enjoy these free photos from the site!
The sculpture park is not very large, and you can explore everything in less than an hour. Next to Buddha Park is a restaurant that offers simple food and nice river views, but besides that, there’s not much else to do nearby.
Even though the park is not very large, I found the place very intriguing, Buddha Park definitely became one of my favourite sights in Southeast Asia. In a way, it also reminded me of the Hill of Crosses in Šiauliai, Lithuania, one of the very first stops of my round the world trip. Both places feel very unique, and both are worth a visit if you’re nearby.