Laos is a highly religious country, but almost a third of its population share both Buddhist and shamanist beliefs. One of the most interesting and thrilling embodiments of this is Buddha Park. It is both a park and a temple, as it contains about 200 sacred images of Buddhist and Hindu deities and gods. Buddha Park, called Xieng Khuan, was built in 1958 by a monk and his students who were interested in both religions.
Xieng Khuan means Spirit City, which truly describes how a visitor may perceive this place. There are various sculptures of sacred animals, small and gigantic Buddha images, a four-armed and twelve-faced deity, a three-headed elephant, and much much more. The most prominent is a huge 40-meter long statue of reclining Buddha and an enormous pumpkin with a demon head on top and three levels representing Heaven, Earth, and Hell.
Sad but true, this park is being slowly destroyed due to frequent floodings of the Mekong River, which undermine the stone and also prevents access for visitors. So, if you want to see the Spirit City of Laos, the best time is the dry season with cool temperatures between October and February.