Wat Sisaket Temple

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Wat Sasiket, also known as Sisaket, is an early 19th century Buddhist monastery in the center of Vientiane. It is the oldest temple of the town that is still in its original form.

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History

Wat Sasiket was built in the opposite side of the Presidential Palace by King Chao Anuvong – the last king of Lan Xang Kingdom. Even the temple was built in 1818; it still looks newer than its appearance. Unlike the most others pagoda in Laos, Sisaket Temple has an architecture of Siamese. Its reputation for the collection of more than 2000 beautiful tiny Buddha statues mainly dated from 16th to 19th century with different sizes and materials might be a unique stress.

The sim

Buddha images in the temple

The sim is found in the center of a walled cloister. Long rows of niches in the cloister walls contain small Buddha images, usually in pairs. Almost 7,000 images can be found in the galleries alone. Seated in front of the niches are larger seated Buddha images in the Bhumisparsha mudra, “Calling the Earth to witness”.

The sim’s multi tiered roof is decorated with Naga finials. It houses the principal Buddha image seated on a high pedestal. The lower part of the interior wall is adorned with ancient murals, the upper part contains hundreds of small niches with Buddha images similar to those of the cloister walls. Taking photographs inside the sim is not allowed to protect the ancient murals from flash light.

On one of the sides of the sim is a “Hang Hod”, a wooden trough in the shape of a Naga serpent. The Hang Hod is used during Laos new year celebrations; the water that flows through the trough is used for ceremonial cleaning of Buddha images.

Other structures

A small Ho Trai or library building is set on a stone platform. Inside the structure with a multi tiered roof is a wooden cabinet where the Tripitaka, ancient Buddhist manuscripts were kept. Next to the cloister is the active part of the monastery surrounded by gardens. On the grounds are a sim, several stupas, a drum tower, an open pavilion sheltering a large seated Buddha image and the kuti, the monks living quarters.

Library building

How to get to the Wat Si Saket

The Wat Si Saket is located on the intersection of Lane Xang road and Setthathirat road in Vientiane, near the Presidential Palace and the Haw Phra Kaew temple. It can be reached on foot from many of Vientiane’s attractions. Alternatively, get there on a rented bicycle which will cost around 10,000 Kip per day. A shared tuk tuk in the center of Vientiane will cost around 20,000 Kip per person, a private one double or triple that.

Entrance fee & opening hours

The temple opens daily from 8 am until noon and from 1 pm until 4 pm. Entrance fee is 5,000 Kip per person.

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