Wat Long Khoun Temple
Wat Long Khoun, the Monastery of the Happy (or Blessed) Song would be a special point in your journey to Luang Prabang, as this place was a very important temple during the Royal days of the past.
Founded in the 18th century and is opposite Wat Xieng Thong Temple, across a river, making it easy to find and explore.
Wat Long Khoun played a very important role for the Royal families of Luang Prabang because, since its inception, it has been considered as a retreat center for spiritual revitalization. As a result, the Kings have had to spend three days there to attend the bathing and meditation ceremony before returning to the Wat Xieng Thong temple for their coronation.
This monastery was abandoned and broken down at the fall of the monarchy. In the mid-1990s, it was restored by the French School of the Far East and the Department of Museums and Archeology of Laos.
Wat Long Khoun represents the local architecture of Luang Prabang with two simple parts, front and back; however, the front part was enlarged in 1937 by King Sisavonvang. It has beautiful gilded columns and a wooden pediment wonderfully carved with floral spirals.
The back part is the unique ordination hall, and has beautiful interior wall paintings that describe the life of Buddha. Unfortunately some are now in poor condition due to moisture and years abandonment after the fall of the monarchy but the paintings colors still remain.
This temple has six houses for monks, and there is also a small, long windowless structure near the ordination hall which was used as a meditation room for Kings, their male relatives and male friends.
Nearby Wat Long Khoun is a cave temple - Wat Xieng Maen which guards ancient and damaged Buddha images. It normally opens only during the Laos New Year.
As for Wat Long Khoun, it is open every day between 8 am and 5 pm. The ticket price is 10000 LAK (approximately US $ 1,25) and being it a sacred place, it is necessary to remove your shoes and sunglasses before entering
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