In 1935, while two Lao personalities joined the Indochine Communist Party - a precursor of what the country will eventually embrace - Pakse started construction of two of its important temples: Wat Tham Fai and Wat Luang, oblivious of the implications of a few individual's participation is some "partisan" groups. Wat Luang hosts a monastic school (a "Sangha" college) and boasts of some of the most intricate interiors in South Laos: ornate pillars, carved wooden doors, and colorful murals (some date as recent as 1989). The murals are decidedly more secular - and fun - than other canonical art works.
The temple complex stands beside the Sedone River, almost reaching its confluence with the great Mekong. Though smaller than the sprawl of Wat Tham Fai, this temple complex has more historical weight, what with a former minister's (Khamtay Loun Sasothith) ashes entombed in one of its thaats.
This we post for easy comparison from Wat Tham Fai from our previous post. We have earlier featured this in our travelogue (with different photos): http://eye-in-the-blue-sky.blogspot.com/2012/03/pakse-tales-whispery-temples-smiling.html
Wat Luang is easier to visit if you're billeted at one of the guesthouses near the Mekong riverside.
This is the Eye in the Sky!
|Entrance to the main temple, the sim or ordination hall.|
|The back of the sim faces the Sedone River and is a picturesque spot (see photo below).|
|Buddha inside the sim or ordination hall.|
|A friendly and chatty monk poses for me.|
|One of the several colorful murals inside the main temple.|
|Beautiful designs (above and below)|
|A huge white stupa standing beside the main temple.|
|A beautiful thaat in the temple grounds. This should be former prime minister Khamtay Loun Sasothith's place.|
|Sangha college or monastic school|
|The view of the monks' residence from Sedone II Bridge.|
|Sedone River meets up with the Mekong one smoky afternoon (they were burning the dried leaves).|
|Sedone II Bridge - Sedone I is located near Champasak Palace Hotel and Wat Tham Fai.|
|Sedone River meets the Mekong westward.|
|Monks lounging at their residence.|