Photo: Postcard perfect.

Wat Muang Kang

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Dating to the 19th century, Wat Muang Kang (also known as Wat Phuthavanaram) is Champasak’s oldest active temple. With a lovely position on the banks of the Mekong river, the wat possesses a stunning blend of architectural styles. The crumble and patina of age only enhances its beauty.

The main sim (chapel hall) inspires awe with grand pillars that soar up to a lofty sloped roof. The building was clearly influenced by Cambodian and Siamese architecture. Yet the charming two-storey library (Haw Tripitaka) steals the show. This building, with a distinctive three-tiered roof, blends Vietnamese, French colonial, Burmese and Lao architecture. The kuti (monks residences), the wooden stilt houses that flank the wat, are traditional Lao.

Classic temple lines. Photo taken in or around Wat Muang Kang, Champasak, Laos by Cindy Fan.

Classic temple lines. Photo: Cindy Fan

The unique blend of architectural styles, the Mekong location, the bamboo-lined pathway along the river—take a stroll at sunrise or sunset—the fact that monks continue to reside here and that few people visit all combine to make this unsung wat one of our favourites in Laos.

To find Wat Muang Kang, from the roundabout, head south 5 km (this is the same way to Wat Phu). The road veers right and after the entrance to Wat Louang Kao is a sign: 5 km straight to Wat Phu or left 2 km for “Vat Meuangkang”. Turn left, travelling south on the dirt road for 2 km. The village before and after the temple specialises in bamboo handicraft and its worth popping in to see them weave everything from baskets to large furniture.

Wat Muang Kang
Around 7km south of Champasak

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Location map for Wat Muang Kang

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What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Champasak.
 Check prices, availability & reviews on Agoda or Booking
 Read up on where to eat on Champasak.
 Check out our listings of other things to do in and around Champasak.
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 Planning on riding a scooter in Champasak? Please read this.
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