Wat Phu Tok Luang Prabang
Accessed via a network of staircases built-in, on and around a giant sandstone outcrop, Wat Phu Tok is one of the region’s true wonders, with fabulous vistas over the surrounding countryside and a truly mesmerizing atmosphere.
Wat Phu Tok is one of Thailand’s true wonders. The site is a sandstone outcrop that rises, impressively into the sky out of the surrounding plain. This giant sandstone outcrop, which can be seen from miles around, is accessed via a series of mainly wooden steps. It consists of seven levels, which represent the seven factors of Buddhist enlightenment. There are 6 wooden stages and the 7th - the final stage involves scrambling up the rocks to reach the reasonably flat surface of the summit.
Monks come here to meditate, so you need to be quiet when visiting. The stairway to heaven at Wat Phu Tok is an extraordinary achievement by one man in his own journey towards spiritual enlightenment. The stairs are a vast collection of wooden ramps and ladders that ascend this strange dark rocky outcrop on seven levels, thus symbolizing the seven traditional steps towards enlightenment. Encircling the rock, the walkways offer spectacular views over the Isan plains.
Wat Phu Tok is on the far eastern side of Nong Khai Province, some 4 hours by bus from Nong Khai Town. Close to the riverside town of Bung Kan, it is possible to get there and back within one day, and makes a great trip out.