Wat Si Muang

Animism meets Buddhism

Photo of , , Vientiane

What we say: 3.5 stars

Wat Si Muang is a little temple that plays a big role in the daily lives of many locals. Though it is a Buddhist temple, its story offers some insight into how the Lao people have merged their former animist beliefs with Buddhism.

Many variations of the legend abound, but approximately 300 years ago a young pregnant woman named Si Muang was sacrificed at this site and a pillar built over her body. To this day, Si Muang is still worshipped and the temple that stands on the spot carries her name in honour, as does the village. There is no signage telling the story, but look for a pile of old bricks next to a small statue of Si Muang at the back of the temple.

The temple is known for giving luck and fortune, and many people come to pray or be blessed by the resident monks. The street opposite the temple is lined with vendors selling flowers, incense, candles, and other yellow-coloured temple offerings. Entrance to the temple is free, but you have to pay for parking motorbikes and bicycles inside the grounds.

More details
Between Setthathilath and Samsenthai Roads
Opening Hours: Open daily 6:00-19:00
Last updated: 1st January, 2014
Last reviewed by:
Born in Aarhus Denmark, Ivana got her first passport at 6 months old and moved to Southeast Asia in 2009 to work as an English teacher and find new cultural windows in which to peep.

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