Stupa sights in Asia
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The most highly revered stupa in Loei Province, this whitewashed Lao-style chedi stands 20m high and was built in 1560–63 on what was then the Thai–Lao border as a gesture of unity between the Lao kingdom of Wiang Chan (Vientiane) and the Thai kingdom of Ayuthaya in their resistance against the Burmese. A pavilion in front of it contains a very old chest that supposedly contains an even older carved stone Buddha about 76cm long. Despite use of the name Phra That, there are no Buddha relics here. You can't wear shoes, hats or the colour red, or carry food or open umbrellas if you climb up to the chedi. Down below is a modest museum with random artefacts donated by…
The 'Holy Reliquary in the Middle of the River' (sometimes called Phra That Nong Khai) is a ruined Lao-style chedi submerged in the middle of the Mekong and can only be seen in the dry season when the waters lower about 13m. The chedi was gobbled up by the meandering Mekong in the middle of the 18th century and it toppled over in 1847. When the waters drop low enough coloured flags are fastened to it. Phra That La Nong, a replica erected on land, glows brightly at night.