In the late afternoon sunlight, the small shrine’s mosaic-adorned walls shimmered like precious gems. As I shifted my footing and perspective — moving only mere inches at a time — different vignettes were illuminated by the vibrant rays.
This Buddhist shrine, on which the cut glass portrays Buddhist imagery, is one of twenty structures in the Wat Xieng Thong monastery compound in charming Luang Prabang. The temple is not far from the Mekong River.
Wat Xieng Thong was built in 1560 by Laos’ King Setthathirath; it is one of Laos’ most important monasteries.
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The Wat Xieng Thong complex is still used by monks, and so visitors are expected to dress appropriately (no short clothing, and no bare shoulders). The entrance fee is 20,000 kip (about $2.30).
Tricia A. Mitchell is a freelance writer and photographer. Born in Europe but raised in the United States, she has lived in Valletta, Malta; Heidelberg, Germany; and Split, Croatia. An avid globetrotter who has visited more than 65 countries, she has a penchant for off-season travel. Tricia has learned that travel’s greatest gift is not sightseeing, rather it is the interactions with people. Some of her most memorable experiences have been sharing a bottle of champagne with distant French cousins in Lorraine, learning how to milk goats in a sleepy Bulgarian village, and ringing in the Vietnamese New Year with a Hanoi family. She welcomes any opportunity to practice French and German, and she loves delving into a place’s history and artisanal food scene.
A former education administrator and training specialist, Tricia has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in international relations. She and her husband, Shawn, married in the ruins of a snowy German castle. They’ve been known to escape winter by basing themselves in coastal Croatia or Southeast Asia.
Her writing has appeared in Fodor’s Travel, Frommer’s, and International Living.
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7 thoughts on “Twinkle, Twinkle Wat Xieng Thong – Luang Prabang, Laos”
wow Tricia – these are beautiful images. You’re right, each reveals a different vignette. I am a big fan of mosaics and these are so shimmery. So beautiful. I adore this post :)
I also love mosaics and would love to try my hand at them! I’ve been exposed to so many wonderful crafts and culinary dishes on this trip — makes me want to attempt making them when we return home. Thanks Marina, as always, for your enthusiastic feedback :)
Wow! I have never seen picture of this before. Thanks!
Another place for you and your family to visit! By chance, we timed our visit perfectly – a must-see during the golden hour :)
I’m several months late in visiting this post but wow. Beautiful temple. I missed so much while in Luang Prabang. I need to go back.
Ron and I just didn’t have enough time in Luang Prabang to do it justice. We missed this temple. How beautiful. Such creativity and talented artisans. This is what is so wonderful about travel writing, Tricia. Am pleased you posted this.
Hi Lynne, glad you could travel to Wat Xieng Thong vicariously through this post and hope you’ll make there in person sometime soon! :)
We only spent a short early evening exploring Wat Xieng Thong but I loved it — from this amazing mosaic work to the room where they stored religious relics, it was a beautiful golden hour visit: