Vat Phu-Champasak-Laos

Official Website of Vat Phou and Associated Ancient Settlements within the Champasak Cultural Landscape Print
The religious complex of Vat Phou is of Khmer architecture and Hindu religion and is situated at the foot of a hill.

The summit, the Phou Kao, immediately commands one's attention because of its shape, identified in ancient times with the linga, the phallic symbol of Shiva, from which originated its ancient name, Lingaparvata, and its reputation as a sacred hill. The permanent spring, at the foot of the cliffs, is probably one of the main reasons that induced the ancient rulers of the area to establish a shivaist sanctuary at this location.
 
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Associated with this religious complex, in the plain below, on the banks of the Mekong, is a pre-Angkorian city, the remains of which (large earthen enclosure walls, brick monuments) are barely visible on the ground, although they appear quite clearly on aerial pictures.

Since 1991, excavations have been undertaken by P.R.A.L. (Projet de Recherches en Archéologie Lao) with the aim of producing a precise archaeological map.
 
 

  


 
 
Vat Phou and Associated Ancient Settlements within the Champasak Cultural Landscape - (extracts from UNESCO's website)
 
The Champasak cultural landscape, including the Vat Phou Temple complex, is a remarkably well-preserved planned landscape more than 1,000 years old. It was shaped to express the Hindu vision of the relationship between nature and humanity, using an axis from mountain top to river bank to lay out a geometric pattern of temples, shrines and waterworks extending over some 10 km. Two planned cities on the banks of the Mekong River are also part of the site, as well as Phou Kao mountain. The whole represents a development ranging from the 5th to 15th centuries, mainly associated with the Khmer Empire.

Justification for Inscription

Criterion III The Temple Complex of Vat Phou bears exceptional testimony to the cultures of south-east Asia, and in particular to the Khmer Empire which dominated the region in the 10th–14th centuries.

Criterion IV
The Vat Phou complex is an outstanding example of the integration of symbolic landscape of great spiritual significance to its natural surroundings.

Criterion VI
Contrived to express the Hindu version of the relationship between nature and humanity, Vat Phou exhibits a remarkable complex of monuments and other structures over an extensive area between river and mountain, some of outstanding architecture, many containing great works of art, and all expressing intense religious conviction and commitment.

 
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Smoke-Free Area

Sights from Vat Phou

Hours & Admission

Open everyday:
8:00 am - 6:00 pm for the site
- 8:00 am 4:30 pm for the museum
  
Admission:
(Ticket fee includes site and museum entrance)

35 000 LAK

for Lao people: 5 000 LAK 

for electric car: 15 000 LAK 

Possibility of visiting the site outside opening hours.
 
More details at: Hours & Admission.

Partners

This website has been produced within the framework  of French – Lao Cooperation Project: " Priority Solidarity Funds -  Vat Phou Champasak: Enhancement and development of the historical and cultural site".

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Ministry of Information and Culture
Head Office of Heritage
Management Office of Vat Phou-Champasak

 

 

 

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Ministry of Foreign Affairs
French Embassy in Laos
Cooperation and Culture Office