Haw Phra Kaew

Weather :

Tags : Temple

Timings : 8 AM to 4 PM

Time Required : 1 hour

Entry Fee : 10000 LAK or 1.25 USD.

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Wat Ho Phra Kew, Vientiane Overview

This place is known to be named after the statue it once had. This temple which was built in the year 1565 is something you would love.

This temple was once known to house Phra Kew or the emerlad buddha made out of single jade stone. This place was intially built by the king of those times in order to allow the royal family worship the emerland buddha. The emerland buddha which was once housed at this place was looted by the Siam and is now present in Bangkok within a temple with the same name.

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Best time to visit

The best time to visit Haw Phra Kaew is in the early morning or late afternoon when the weather is pleasant.

Haw Phra Kaew Museum

In the 1970's Haw Phra Kaew was converted to a museum. The exhibits include some of the best collections of murals, hundreds of statues of Buddha, manuscripts and reliefs from the 6th century until the 19th century. There is also an exclusive section dedicated to the religious art of Laos. Among the notable relics are the bronze statues, Buddhist inscriptions on palm leaves, a gilded throne for the Emerald Buddha, bronze drum, and several wooden carvings and Khmer stone steles.

Haw Phra Kaew History & Significance

The name Haw Phra Kaew translates to the Emerald Buddha in the local language. It was built in 1565 by King Setthathirath after the capital of Lan Xang Kingdom was moved to Vientiane. It functioned as a royal temple for about 200 years. It housed the sacred Emerald Buddha which was brought by the King from Chiang Mai until 1779. During this year, a war between the Siamese Lang Xang ended brutally, with Laos suffering a massive defeat. The Thais raided this temple and took the Emerald Buddha, which is now found in the Palace grounds in Wat Phra Kaew temple in Bangkok.

The Siamese destroyed Haw Phra Kaew later in 1828, and it has been rebuilt several times since then. The latest version was constructed during the French occupation in 1942.


Haw Phra Kaew is built in Bangkok style of architecture with noticeable ubosot or sim. The sim has two entrances consisting of large, intricately carved wooden doors. The stairway leading to the sim is very impressive, including Naga balustrades resembling the Khmer architecture found in Angkor temples. There are sculptures and carvings depicting scenes from Hindu and Buddhist mythologies. The roof of the sim is multi-tiered with Naga finials at the corners. The interiors of the sim have murals depicting the life of Buddha, along with hundreds of images of Buddha in the galleries. It is where the museum is now located in place of a temple.

The temple is surrounded by a garden which is well maintained and houses a 2,000-year-old stone jar from the Plain of Jars.

How To Reach Haw Phra Kaew

Haw Phra Kaew is located on Setthathirath Road in Vientiane. The best way to reach is by hiring a Tuk-Tuk. It costs about 4 USD for a round trip. It takes about 25 to 30 minutes to get there on foot. You can also rent a motorbike for about 12 to 14 USD per day, or you can get there by bike(bicycle) which cost about 3 to 4 USD for rent per day.

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