Photo: Pak Ou caves.

Wat Wisunalat

Our rating:

Records suggest that the original was quite spectacular, with some 4,000 trees needed to complete its construction.


Photo of Wat Wisunalat

The dozen pillars that supported the interior were each 100 feet tall and the building’s exterior was made entirely of wood.

The impressive scale of the temple didn’t sway the Black Flag invaders, who razed it in 1887. A decade later work began to rebuild the temple using brick and plaster, much to the relief of Luang Prabang’s remaining forests. While the new structure tries to recreate the original style in brick, featuring many wooden balustrades in the windows, it doesn’t really pull it off. Nevertheless the site remains an important repository of religious art, including a large number of cast Buddha statues.

Today, the main attraction within the compound is the That Pathum (Stupa of the Great Lotus) which sits in front of the sim. It’s more popularly known as That Makmo -- the watermelon stupa -- for its resemblance to the fruit. Also destroyed (and pillaged) during the Black Flag invasion, the stupa was rebuilt in the late 1920s. It’s adjacent to Wat Aham and they are usually visited together.



Location map for Wat Wisunalat

Start planning your holiday today

Sent every Monday, our newsletter is full of travel advice, news & special deals. Read past issues.

   

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 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 the web securely while travelling with TunnelBear. Try with a 7–day free trial.


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


Top of page


Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Luang Prabang? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Laos.


Top of page