Luang Prabang, in north central Laos, has been an important Buddhist spiritual center for hundreds of years. As a result, it has some of the most ancient and exquisite Buddhist temples in the region.
Visiting these beautiful temples doesn’t take a great deal of planning. Just walk in any direction, and you’re guaranteed to stumble into a couple of extravagantly decorated temples. In fact, as we quickly discovered on our visit, undecorated surfaces were the exception in local temples.
As architectural buffs, we’ve developed the habit of studying not only the building as a whole, but also its individual elements. You may have seen our Beguiling Baltic Doors, or the Unique Shop Doors of Kotor. In Luang Prabang, we fell in love with columns of Buddhist temples.
Luang Prabang temples have a distinctive style, and are well known for their gleaming gold leaf ornamentation.
Some of the temples are quite old, built as early as the 16th Century. Given the harsh climate of the highland area, their state of preservation is astounding.
And to my eye, the color palette, even though vivid, is also quite elegant and appealing.
In our travels in Southeast Asia, we saw countless temples, but the Buddhist temples of Luang Prabang were some of our favorites.