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Ancient Champassak temple gets a makeover

The renovation of Vat Meuang Kang in southern Champassak province has begun in order to preserve the centuries-old temple and make it more attractive to visitors.
The temple, also known as Vat Phutthavanaram, was built in early 1950s – a few years after Meuang Kang village in Champassak district was established, a village resident told Vientiane Times recently.
Located about 8km south from the town of Champassak, the temple has a long history and is respected not only by local residents but by Buddhists throughout the country. The temple is thought to be the oldest active temple in Laos. This impressive monastery comprises five buildings which are a mix of colonial, Vietnamese, and traditional Lao styles with influences from Siamese and Cambodian architecture.
The book repository (hor tripidok) and the meeting hall (hor jaek) were built in the Vietnamese style with a colonial influence.
The two monk residences (kuti) are in the traditional Lao style, with one built from hardwood and the other constructed using strips of bamboo coated with mud and cattle dung.
The five buildings have retained their original character, while the roofs were made using techniques rarely found nowadays.
The book repository is a mix of Chinese and French styles combined with traditional Lao architecture, and was made by Vietnamese craftsmen. Its three-tiered roof has a colourful mosaic in the corner and a small crystal window at the centre of the top roof ridge, reminiscent of ancient Myanmar-style architecture. The crystal-sided box contains Buddha images.
The provinces of southern Laos have numerous tourist attractions, both nature-based and historical. Champassak is one of these provinces and no one should miss a chance to visit this scenic region during a stay in Laos.
Champassak has 216 officially designated tourist sites, including 116 that are nature-based, 60 places of cultural interest and 40 historical sites, but only 20 have special visitor facilities.
 Among the natural wonders are Khonphapheng, Tad Fan and Tad Yeuang waterfalls. Activities for tourists range from adventure treks and ziplining to rest and recuperation in the lap of nature. Visitors can also enjoy produce from the fertile Bolaven Plateau, including its famed coffee.

By Souksamai Boulom
(Latest Update
September 7,

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