Photo: At Wat Phiawat.

Muang Khoun

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Once the royal seat of Phuan Kingdom in the 14th century, and more recently the provincial capital during French colonial times, prosperous Muang Khoun was renowned for its lavish stupas and temples before suffering a series of attacks.

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First plundered by the Chinese Haw bandits in the 19th century, then devastated by heavy bombardment during the war, it is said that bombing destroyed everything except for Wat Phiawat, That Dam and one French colonial building. The provincial capital was subsequently moved to Phonsavan and today, Muang Khoun has been rebuilt from the ashes into a small town that doesn’t warrant an overnight stay. It can though be of interest as a daytrip from Phonsavan.

Old and new at That Dam. Photo taken in or around Muang Khoun, Phonsavan, Laos by Cindy Fan.

Old and new at That Dam. Photo: Cindy Fan

Travelling 30 kilometres down paved Route 1D which runs eventually to Paksan on the northern bank of the Mekong River, the first temple that heralds the arrival into Muang Khoun is That Dam, the ruins of a stupa just off the main road on the righthand side in the grounds of Wat Si Phom. The temple was the town’s most sacred, but like everything else in town, was obliterated and the building is now a modern ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 600 words.)

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Where to next?

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

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