That Phum Phuk

Northern Laos

The red-gold stupa you see when first approaching the small and historic That Phum Phuk is a 2003 replica. Right beside it lies the brick-and-stucco rubble of an earlier version, blown over by the force of a US bombing raid during the Second Indochine War. Judging by the ferroconcrete protrusions, that wasn't the 1628 original either. The site is a hillock 3km northwest of the isolated Phouvan Guesthouse, on a stony laterite road that initially parallels the airfield.

An obvious set of naga (river serpent) stairs leads up to the stupa from a road junction in front.