Temples of Laos: Wat Sensoukharam, Luang Prabang

If you love temples, then Luang Prabang will be heaven for you. The spiritual heart of Laos, as well as the ancient capital, Luang Prabang has so many Buddhist temples that you can rarely walk down a street without coming across one. I love Luang Prabang for its beautiful old buildings, its picturesque streets and its laid back atmosphere, so most of my time in the city is spent just wandering around aimlessly. Its the sort of place where I can go out each day and discover something new, whether it be a street I haven’t walked down before, or a little cafe hidden down an alley.

On my recent trip, I returned to some of the places that I visited last time, but I also discovered some new sites. One of those was Wat Sensoukharam – a beautiful Buddhist temple located right in the heart of the old town of Luang Prabang.

Wat Sensoukharam in Luang Prabang, Laos

A golden Chedi and the Viharn (main shrine) at Wat Sensoukharam

Wat Sensoukharam was originally built in 1718 during the reign of King Kitsarath, and was restored to its current state in 1957. Also known as Wat Sen, the temple is believed to have been built using 100,000 stones from the Mekong River, giving the temple it’s name, roughly translating to “Temple of 100,000 Treasures”.

The temple is one of Luang Prabang’s largest monasteries and there are quite a few buildings to explore. The Viharn itself was closed when I visited, so I couldn’t see the interior, but the exterior is quite spectacular on its own, along with the other surrounding buildings such as the Chapel of the Standing Buddha.

Shrine at Wat Sensoukharam in Luang Prabang, Laos

A shrine at Wat Sensoukharam

Old wooden boats at Wat Sensoukharam in Luang Prabang, Laos

Old wooden boats on display at Wat Sensoukharam

Monastery building at Wat Sensoukharam in Luang Prabang, Laos

One of the monastery buildings

Chapel of the Standing Buddha at Wat Sensoukharam in Luang Prabang, Laos

The Chapel of the Standing Buddha

Standing Buddha at Wat Sensoukharam in Luang Prabang, Laos

The Standing Buddha

Viharn at Wat Sensoukharam in Luang Prabang, Laos

The Viharn

Statue at Wat Sensoukharam in Luang Prabang, Laos

A statue at the entrance to the Viharn

Ornate doors at Wat Sensoukharam in Luang Prabang, Laos

Intricate details on the doors of the Viharn

Wat Sensoukharam is located on Sakkarin Road which is the main street in the old town of Luang Prabang, running parallel to the Mekong River. From Phou Si and the Royal Palace, head west along the street and you can’t miss it.

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11 comments… add one
  • Jen Mar 2, 2014

    Great post! I absolutely loved the temples in Thailand and Cambodia. I can’t wait to visit Laos to explore their temples too.

    • Dean Wickham Mar 18, 2014

      Thanks Jen. They all have their similarities and differences. And all well worth checking out 🙂

  • Michael Mar 3, 2014

    Still on our bucket list. We are quite independent travelers so this is looking to become one of our “goal” destinations. We want to research more about Buddhism though in order to fully appreciate the sites we will come across

    • Dean Wickham Mar 18, 2014

      Hi Michael. I love Luang Prabang so I can’t recommend it enough. Learning about the religion and customs of any country is important, in my mind, before going there. You can certainly appreciate a place a lot more. Cheers

  • Owen Mar 12, 2014

    South east Asian architecture is incredible ! I’ve only been once (to Bali – I’m hoping to do Thailand and Vietnam next year) and regrettably I didn’t photograph much of the architecture, but it really is beautiful.

    • Dean Wickham Mar 18, 2014

      Hi Owen. I agree, the architecture is really amazing, and so unique!

  • Valrie Gordon Mar 19, 2014

    Good read, thanks for the journey. Will share with friends and add to my bucket list.

  • Kristy Mar 21, 2014

    Everything is made of gold. It is truly a national treasure and I know the people of that country is very proud of it.

  • Debz Jan 21, 2017

    Fantastic photos! I love temples.

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