Statues at Wat Xieng Khuan Buddha park.

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Xieng Khuan

Top choice in Vientiane

Located 25km southeast of central Vientiane, eccentric Xieng Khuan, aka Buddha Park, thrills with other-worldly Buddhist and Hindu sculptures, and was designed and built in 1958 by Luang Pu, a yogi-priest-shaman who merged Hindu and Buddhist philosophy, mythology and iconography into a cryptic whole. It's a bizarre, delightfully dilapidated compound that's great for a wander and a photo op.

Bus 14 (8000K, one hour) leaves Talat Sao Bus Station every 20 minutes for Xieng Khuan. Alternatively, charter a tuk-tuk (250,000K return).

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