Photo: Pak Ou caves.

Wat Khili

Our rating:

Wat Khili (Wat Souvanna Khili), found on the main street near the tip of the peninsula, was built in 1773 by Chao Kham Sattha of Xieng Kouang.

No pic at the moment -- Sorry!

This explains why the temple is the same style as those found near the Plain of Jars, which makes Wat Khili unique amongst Luang Prabang temples.

Known as the Temple of the Golden Mountain, Wat Khili had fallen into disrepair but thanks to the Buddhist Heritage Project, it has undergone meticulous restoration. Wat Khili “holds a special place in the pantheon of Luang Prabang’s Buddhism, largely due to the revered monk Pha Khamfan Silasangvaro, an intellectual, writer, artist and architect who was Abbot of Vat Khili from 1931 until his death in 1987.” The temple is now home to the Buddhist Archives, which preserves historic photographs and documents, many of which had been safeguarded by monks in Luang Prabang throughout the turmoil and war of the 20th century. The archives are not open to the public but there is usually a special public exhibition on, in addition to a bookshop.

Though the temple is built in the Xieng Kouang style, note how the later constructed buildings incorporate French colonial architecture. The Sala Thammaviharn, the white two-storey building that was once the monks residence and is now home to the exhibition and archive, looks like an elegant French villa. This building was part of the restoration work that also included the main sim, a 200-year old library (now an exhibition honouring Abbot Satthu Khamfan Silasangvaro) and a manuscript storage chapel adorned with gorgeous glass mosaics.

By .

What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Luang Prabang.
 Check prices, availability & reviews on Agoda or Booking
 Read up on where to eat on Luang Prabang.
 Check out our listings of other things to do in and around Luang Prabang.
 Read up on how to get to Luang Prabang.
 Do you have travel insurance yet? If not, find out why you need it.
 Planning on riding a scooter in Luang Prabang? Please read this.
 Browse tours in Laos with Tourradar.

Like what you see? Then you’ll love our newsletter

The Travelfish newsletter is sent out every Monday and is jammed full of free advice for travel in Southeast Asia. You can see past issues here.


See below for more sights and activities in Luang Prabang that are listed on

Top of page