One of the quirkiest, yet most interesting attractions in Vientiane would have to be Xieng Khuan, commonly called "Buddha Park". Xieng Khuan or "Spirit City" is just as much a monument to one man's eccentric and bizarre ambition as it is an impressive collection of massive ferro-concrete sculptures dotted around a riverside meadow. Although the brontosaurian reclining Buddha and strange edifice resembling a pumpkin - there are statues of every conceivable deity in the Buddhist/Hindu pantheon. Even if you are not up on your Buddhist/Hindu deities you will enjoy strolling around some of the more fantastic shapes. Xieng Khuan was designed and built in 1958 by Louang Pou Bunleua Sulilat a self style holy man who took Hinduism and Buddhism and merged them into his own iconography. After the revolution in 1975, he fled from Laos to Thailand where he built another sculpture park, Sala Keoku in Nong Khai.. He fled because his anti-Communist beliefs conflicted with the views of the Pathet Lao.
- ©John Lander
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