Buddha Park is a garden which has a collection of Buddhism and Hinduism sculpture statues on the bank of the Mekong River.
About 25km east from the center of Vientiane, tourists will find a spacious and quiet place. There are many statues of Buddha in different postures which telling to tourists the stories about culture, people in The Land of Million Elephants. Buddha Park (or Wat Xiengkuane in Lao) was built in 1958 by Luang Pu Bounleua Sulilat, who researched both Buddhism and Hinduism. This explained why the park not only has Buddha but also Hindu god as well as demon and animal statues from both of 2 religions. Bounleua did not go any training school about sculpting or arts. He once explained about strange images in his park which created by him and his colleagues, they were came to him in dreams, and in the feelings of the gods he enlightened in daily life.
Buddha Park has over 200 statues made of concrete with different sizes from small to very big. If you want a quiet place to think about Buddhism and Hinduism, you should forget to take some selfie photos. Touching every detail of the staues and looking into the eyes of it, you will see many excited things of Lao legends and traditions. You will feel in each sculpture many images of human life and history of Laos. There are many statues that look very meditative and peaceful, but also statues show a sense of frustration, with many different emotions on each face.
There are lots of attractive Buddha and Hindu statues such as: Avalokiteśvara, Shiva, Vishnu, and Arjuna, etc. The statues of Buddha sitting in Nirvana or many other statues have different postures, creating a very vivid park of statues. When you come here, do not forget to see the statue of Indra, the king of Hindu gods, riding a three-headed elephant (as known as Erawan and Airavata); Four-face Buddha statue sits on a horse or an Art god statue with 12 faces and several hands. An enormous lying Buddha statue (40 m long and 10 m high) is also an attractive sculpture in the Buddha Park. All of them are very impressive not only because of their big size, but also interesting details and motifs. This place not only has Buddha statues and Hindu god statues but also statues of demons, musicians, dancers and beasts with strange shapes that are meticulously cast and elaborated. Tourists will be extremely excited when they get into a huge pumpkin has 3 floors, which represent Hell, Earth and Heaven. You can enter through a mouth of demon 3 m tall and a staircase from hell to heaven. In Hell floor, there are many demons statues. Go up to the top of the pumpkin, tourists will enjoy the entire space of the Buddha Park from above with the beautiful architecture placed on the Mekong Riverside. On the opposite of this pumpkin, near the Mekong River is a tower, representing the Heaven.
The statues all made from concrete, over 50 years under the sun and rain, the statues became more and more illusory and older. The Buddha Park represented the culture and the lifestyle of Lao. Unfortunately, the information about the sculptures and their meaning were not sculpted with the statues.
From Vientiane center, you can take a tuk tuk or taxi to the garden, cost about US $5. Or you can catch local bus number 14 from Talat Sao market to Buddha Park, this bus takes about 45 minutes to go there and costs US $1 for one way ticket. If you do not have any experience in traveling Laos, you should buy a tour from a travel agency to visit Buddha Park and other attractive destinations in Laos. They will provide you transportation, meals, accommodation and a knowledgeable tour guide will give a clearly schedule for your trip.
Some notes when visiting the Buddha statue garden