Photo: Wat Sisaket, Vientiane.

Wat Sisaket

Our rating:

Wat Sisaket was built from 1818 to 1824 by King Anouvong, the last king of Lane Xang Kingdom, as his private monastery.


Photo of Wat Sisaket

It is the only temple to have survived the attack and destruction by the Siamese in 1827-1828 and therefore, it is the only wat in Vientiane surviving in its original shape. Its location marks the centre of the old city and has the oldest monastery in the country.

The grounds contain well-preserved structures and a visit here will give you an excellent overview of Buddhist architecture in Laos. The sim is the inner building or congregational hall that is reserved for use by the monks. Educational signs inform us that the sim faces south, not east, and it is not parallel to the river which is unusual as it does not follow either Lao or Buddhist tradition. The ceiling is adorned with relief mouldings, a decoration that became popular in Lao religious architecture in the early 19th century. The walls are carved with niches that originally housed silver Buddha statues (now replaced with clay ones). The murals depict scenes from Jakata tales, stories about the other lifetimes of Buddha, another common feature in sacred architecture in Laos.

Unlike frescoes which are painted onto wet plaster, these murals have been done on dry stucco and are very fragile, as the surface and the paintings flake off over time. The temple’s paintings are very damaged and signs about an ongoing restoration project explains that this is due to moisture and capillary salt deposits. Major work to repair it is underway, funded by the Embassy of Germany.

The wat also contains that (stupas), a library of important texts, a cloister that contains 6,840 Buddha images and a kuti, sleeping quarters for the monks and novices. Vientiane’s oldest temple is still a place of study and worship to this day.

Modest dress is mandatory and the ticket collector will provide women with long skirts as they enter.


Sponsored placement.

Wat Sisaket
Lane Xang Ave, Vientiane
Daily 08:00-12:00, 13:00-16:00
Admission: 5,000 kip

By .

Location map for Wat Sisaket

What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Vientiane.
 Check prices, availability & reviews on Agoda or Booking
 Read up on where to eat on Vientiane.
 Check out our listings of other things to do in and around Vientiane.
 Read up on how to get to Vientiane.
 Do you have travel insurance yet? If not, find out why you need it.
 Planning on riding a scooter in Vientiane? 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 Vientiane that are listed on Travelfish.org.


Top of page