Wat Si Muang

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Tags : Buddhist Temple

Timings : 6 AM to 7 PM

Time Required : 1 hour

Entry Fee : Free entry

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Wat Si Muang, Vientiane Overview

Wat Si Muang is a Buddhist temple and a monastery located in the city of Vientiane in Laos. It is home to Lák Méuang, the city pillar, which represents the day the town was established. Despite its small size, Wat Si Muang is very popular among the locals and is crowded most of the times. It is believed that this temple brings luck and grants prayers. It is recommended to visit Wat Si Muang to witness the local tradition and the ancient history of this temple.

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Best time to visit

The best time to visit Wat Si Muang is in the early morning or late afternoon when the weather is pleasant.

That Luang Festival

Wat Si Muang temple is the starting point of a procession called Phasat Pheung, during which wax candles are held. This ritual marks the start of Boun That Luang or That Luang Festival, the largest religious festival of the country. It takes place during November every year on the full moon day. Thousands of people participate in this festival gathering at this temple, which is decorated and lit in the night.

The legend of Wat Si Muang

The ground was first dedicated to constructing a temple. And a foundation for Vientiane city by planning to build a pillar. At this time,  there was a belief among the locals that human sacrifice was required to please the spirits. Si Muang, a local pregnant woman, sacrificed herself during the construction of this temple by jumping into the foundation pit where the pillar would be placed. Stones crushed her to death before constructing the pillar. She is revered as a patron saint and is believed that her spirit guards the city. There is also a small statue of her inside the temple.

There is a small statue of Buddha, and lifting this thrice from the cushion while praying for answers or wishes to be fulfilled would be a success. People visit the temple to offer bananas, flowers, incense and other offerings to thank the spirits and the Buddha when a prayer is answered.

Wat Si Muang History

Wat Si Muang temple, also called as Simuong was built in 1563 by King Sisavang Vong. The region was a part of the former Kingdom of Lan Xang. The King constructed a city pillar at the complex which established the city of Vientiane. But historical records indicate that the pillar and the temple site were from the Khmer period in the 13th century. The temple was destroyed in 1828 when the Siamese army attacked the Laos Kingdom.


The sim consists of two large halls. The city pillar is located in the rear gallery, which has been a religious site of worship and rituals for over 1000 years. The pillar is wrapped in sacred cloth. There is a seated Buddha in front of it. Behind the sim is a Stupa, which is also believed to be from the Khmer period. There is a park in front of the stupa which houses a statue of King Sisavang Vong.

How To Reach Wat Si Muang

Wat Si Muang is located about 1km from the city centre 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 by 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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