Aside from the Patuxai the best part of Vientiane lies about 25 km SE of the city along the Mekong River. Buddha Park or Xieng Khuan (Spirit City) as it is known is filled with over 200 Hindu and Buddhist statues. It was created by Luang Pu Bunleua Sulilat a priest/shaman who integrated Hinduism and Buddhism through art in 1958.
The park is accessible by a public bus or a private car, the hostel I stayed at organized a car with a few other people which while more expensive was definitely faster and a much more enjoyable experience. After a nominal fee I entered the park along with a bunch of school children here on a field trip. They scattered across the nice size park and I barely noticed them after that. I felt like I had been transported to a new dimension populated by Gods, dragons, and other entities.
What I really liked about the park was that it really forced you to interact with the sculptures- walking around and between them. Getting up close to examine the details before stepping back to see the larger picture. The tallest structure looks like a giant face with an open mouth going nowhere. Until I stuck my head in and realized that you could crawl around inside. There were mini statues inside and stairs that took you to the roof where you could look out on the entire park itself. Attached to the roof is a large tree like structure known as the pumpkin tower which can be seen below.
I hope you found Buddha Park as magical as I did. Make sure you Subscribe below so you never miss an addition to the Archives.