Haw Phra Kaew (Monastery of the Emerald Buddha), Vientiane

Haw Phra Kaew (Monastery of the Emerald Buddha), Vientiane (must see)

Haw Phra Kaew is a historically significant site with a rich and tumultuous past. Originally constructed between 1565 and 1556 by King Setthathirath, the temple was intended to house the revered Emerald Buddha figurine, which the king had brought from Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang. However, the temple's fate took a dramatic turn when Vientiane was seized by Siam in 1778. The Emerald Buddha was taken to Thonburi, and Haw Phra Kaew was destroyed.

In the 19th century, King Annouvong of Vientiane undertook the task of rebuilding Haw Phra Kaew, only to see it destroyed once again by Siamese forces during his rebellion against Siam. Despite these setbacks, the temple was reconstructed for a third time in the 1920s, under French colonial rule. This period of reconstruction by the French marked a new chapter in the temple's history, as it underwent restoration to its former glory.

Today, Haw Phra Kaew stands as a testament to Laos' cultural heritage and resilience. While it no longer serves as an active temple, its interior has been repurposed to house a museum and a small shop, offering visitors the opportunity to explore its history and significance. The temple's architecture reflects a blend of traditional Lao design elements with influences from neighboring Thailand, creating a visually striking monument that continues to captivate visitors with its beauty and historical significance.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Vientiane. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Haw Phra Kaew (Monastery of the Emerald Buddha) on Map

Sight Name: Haw Phra Kaew (Monastery of the Emerald Buddha)
Sight Location: Vientiane, Laos (See walking tours in Vientiane)
Sight Type: Museum/Gallery
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Vientiane, Laos

Create Your Own Walk in Vientiane

Create Your Own Walk in Vientiane

Creating your own self-guided walk in Vientiane is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Vientiane Temples Walk

Vientiane Temples Walk

The capital of Laos, Vientiane, is in the heart of the Buddhist world. This explains the presence in the city of numerous temples and shrines making up the bulk of local landmarks. Scattered across the city, these religious sites hold significant historical and spiritual importance, drawing visitors from all over the globe.

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles
Vientiane Introduction Walking Tour

Vientiane Introduction Walking Tour

Vientiane, the capital of Laos, is a colorful city, the history of which is reflected in its centuries-old shrines, memorials, garden squares, and colonial architecture lining broad boulevards and leafy streets.

The name "Vientiane" is the French rendition of the Lao word viangchan, in which viang refers to a "walled city" and chan derives from Sanskrit candana, translating...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles