Wat Pa Phon Phao is a Buddhist temple perched atop a hill in Luang Prabang, Laos. It is known for its unusual octagonal architecture and its intricate murals.

The temple was built in the 1950s by a wealthy Laotian woman named Mrs. Bounmy Phonsak. She wanted to create a place of peace and contemplation for both monks and laypeople. The octagonal shape is said to represent the eightfold path to enlightenment.

The interior of Wat Pa Phon Phao is decorated with a series of murals that depict the life of the Buddha and the teachings of Buddhism. The murals are very colorful and detailed, and they provide a fascinating glimpse into Buddhist mythology and cosmology.

One of the most striking murals in Wat Pa Phon Phao is a depiction of Buddhist hell. The mural shows the various punishments that await those who commit bad karma. The punishments are graphic and disturbing, but they are also a powerful reminder of the importance of living a moral life.

Another interesting mural in Wat Pa Phon Phao shows the different Buddhist architectures of Southeast Asia. The mural depicts temples from Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Laos. It is a beautiful reminder of the rich diversity of Buddhist culture in the region.

Wat Pa Phon Phao is a relatively new temple, but it has quickly become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Luang Prabang. The temple’s unique architecture, stunning views, and intricate murals make it a must-see for any visitor to the city.

Tips for visiting Wat Pa Phon Phao:

  • Dress respectfully when visiting the temple. This means covering your shoulders and knees.
  • Be quiet and respectful of the monks and nuns who live at the temple.
  • If you want to take photos of people, ask permission first.

You can make your own way to Wat Pa Phon Phao. Tiger Trail Travel has several easy day excursions that pass this temple and call in to visit.