Wat Saen

Along the main Sisavong Vang Road between the main commercial district and Wat Xieng Thong are a string of smaller temples. The largest and most ornate of these is Wat Saen.

Wat Saen
The sim of Wat Saen

'Saen' means 100,000 in Lao. We found two different stories that tried to explain the name. One is that the name refers to the original endowment of 100,000 Kip donated to build the temple in 1718. The second story is that the name refers to the number of lotus blossoms stenciled on the walls of the sim and other pavilions. Both versions seem unlikely.

Closeup of a door and some of the lotus stencils

The temple is sited right on the main road, with its many buildings set on a paved courtyard, although most of the buildings are angled relative to the street so that they face east. The sim is rather nicely proportioned, although when you get up close you will notice that the doors are actually very small, making the whole facade appear bigger than it really is. The sim and all the other buildings are painted an ochre color, with a large lotus blossom motif stenciled in gold.

A small gilded stupa stands next to the sim, right next to the street. In the compound in front of the sim is a small pavilion sheltering a Buddha footprint shrine and another larger open-fronted pavilion housing a standing Buddha image.