Wat Nong Sikhunmeuang

Peeking over the wall at the sim of Wat Nong Sikhunmeuang.

Running parallel to the main Sisavong Vang Road from the Royal Palace Museum up to the back of Wat Xieng Thong is a small lane which can be more pleasant to walk than the heavily touristed main road. Along this route are several interesting temples. One of the biggest and most ornate is Wat Nong Sikhunmeuang, located roughly behind the Villa Santi Hotel.

city pillar
A small, modern city pillar shrine in the temple compound.

The large sim is richly decorated, with fish and naga brackets supporting the roof from red and gold filigree pilasters. The plaster nagas guarding each stairway are a little more detailed than those at other temples around town.

Next to the sim is a small city pillar shrine. Although each village in Laos will have a city pillar, they do not seem to be as important to the Lao as they are to Thais. Near the pillar is a wooden bell used to announce morning prayers. You can hear the deep bass booming of such bells all over Luang Prabang around sunrise every day. Its a sound that you 'feel' more than you hear.

The temple was first built early in the the eighteenth century, but burned down before the century was over and was rebuilt early in the nineteenth century.