The Pha That Luang or the Golden Stupa is the most important religious monument in Laos. Located in Vientiane and built over an ancient stupa in 1566, the That Luang has since become the country’s national symbol and icon of Lao Buddhism.
For three days in the capital, during the full moon of the twelfth lunar month (usually in November), the most important Lao Buddhist festival, Boun Pha That Luang, is held in its honour.
Monks and tens of thousands of pilgrims from all over the country and other neighbouring Southeast Asian nations make the trip to Vientiane Capital to celebrate Boun That Luang. Should you join them, expect to see religious processions, traditional games, endless rows of food stalls, and massive crowds ready to party afterward. Since you’re in Laos, the mostly Laotian crowd is generally relaxed.
It starts with the procession at the 16th century Vat Si Meuang to pay homage to Nya Mae Si Meuang, considered the protector of Vientiane Capital. During the colourful parade, Phasat Pheung or wax castles are carried around the capital and then offered to the temple. The more ornate and larger procession parades around more wax castles and carried three times around the Pha That Luang before being offered to the shrine. If you want to get a good view of the action, be there hours before the rites begin.
On the last day of the festival, wake up as early as dawn to see the morning Sai baat (alms giving) to the monks. You can then join the locals afterward to eat Khao Poun (rice noodle soup) and Tom Kai (chicken soup) before catching the ancient pastime of Tee Khee, which is played with a ball and long curved stick, resembling a game of hockey.
Southeast Asia's temple festivals are worth seeing – you'll find them in Boun Vat Phou Champasak, also in Laos; Phaung Daw Oo Festival, in Myanmar; and the Bamboo Organ Festival in the Philippines. For alternative festival stops in the month of October, visit the Kate Festival in Vietnam; the Asmat Cultural Festivals in Papua, Indonesia; and the Deepavali Light-up and Festivities in Singapore.
The intricate wood carvings of Papua's Asmat people take center stage in the Asmat Cultural Festival, taking place over f...
Trip through the 12-Day Viet Nam and Cambodia Trek exotic wonders and stunning historic cities of Viet Nam and Cambodia.VIEW DETAILS
The Mekong is one of Southeast Asia's most important rivers, and with this tour you'll be able to see its power for y...VIEW DETAILS
Time travel in Southeast Asia by visiting two of its most notable ancient cities. Begin in Manila, capital of the Philippines...VIEW DETAILS
Engage in the amazing experience of horse riding along one of Bali's stunning beaches. Choose from a range of villas in C...VIEW DETAILS
Learn the Art of Yoga in the privacy of your own villa. Enjoy a complimentary 1-hour yoga session every morning in the privac...VIEW DETAILS
Arrive in Style in Bali via a Helicopter to Alila Soori. Surrounded by UNESCO’s world heritage protected rice fields, g...VIEW DETAILS
Go on an epic Asean journey with AirAsia Asean Pass, a travel pass that allows you to book our base fares at least 14 days or...VIEW DETAILS
Rent a car for 2 days or more at participating locations in Asia and enjoy up to 15% offVIEW DETAILS
Since its opening in 2007, Amara Sanctuary Resort Sentosa, Singapore has brought the rustic feel of a true resort and blended...VIEW DETAILS
Imagine being on your very own private island. Where the blue Andaman sea flirts with the secluded beaches and vibrant jungle...VIEW DETAILS
A Boutique hotel nested along Dickson Road. Moon 23, provide 80 keys with various décor of either designer bed frame o...VIEW DETAILS