The enchanting Wat Longkhun is set amid bougainvillea and starburst Palmyra palms. When the coronation of a Luang Prabang king was pending, it was customary for him to spend three days in retreat at Wat Longkhun before ascending the throne. Today various monastic outbuildings retain a cohesive rustic style, while the central sǐm features old murals with a curious sense of perspective. One scene depicts giant fish attacking shipwrecked sailors.
Exploring Tham Sakkalin
If you ask at the ticket desk they should give you the key and torches (flashlights) required to visit Tham Sakkalin. It’s three minutes’ walk further east then up a few stairs beneath some overhanging bougainvillea. Flicking the switch to the right of the door only partially illuminates this slippery, 100m-long limestone cave. A few Buddha fragments are kept in a niche to the right as you descend but the only really remarkable feature here is the inexplicable heat that the cave seems to produce.