I find this place very fascinating, just the name of the place called Buddha Park should give me the feeling of being in a serene oasis, and some comforting feeling because I‘m in a holy place, but yet my feeling is totally the opposite.
According to Wikipedia, a Buddha Park, also known as Xieng Khuan is a sculpture park located 25 km southeast from Vientiane in a meadow by the Mekong River. Sometimes it’s referred to as Wat Xien Khuan but the park is not a temple, and the name Xieng Khuan means Spirit City. The park contains over 200 Hindu and Buddhist statues.
The park was built in 1958 by Luang Pu Bunleua Sulilat, a priest-shamn who integrated Hinduism and Buddhism and later fled from Laos to Thailand after the revolution in 1975.
The statues are made of cement and are ornate, and sometimes bizarre, in design. The statues appear to be centuries old, though they are not. There are numerous sculptures of Buddha and characters of Hindu lore. There are also sculptures of humans, gods, animals, and demons.
This notable sculpture resembles a giant pumpkin. It has three stories representing three levels – Hell, Earth and Heaven. Visitors can enter through an opening which is a mouth of a 10 ft tall demon head and climb staircases from hell to heaven. Each story contains sculptures depicting the level. At the top, there is a vantage point where the entire park is visible. I didn’t enter this one, afraid to go into that demon’s mouth.
This is an enormous 40 m high reclining Buddha, it’s also a park attraction.
This one you might not recognize, it’s a Lao and Thai folklore of the Luna Eclipse, such a bizarre looking thing you might say, and it’s believed that during the Luna Eclipse, the moon is being swallowed by the frog as we called it Kop Kin Deuane, loosely translated as frog eats moon, therefore when we were kid, we had to bang our pots and pans to chase the frog away.
According my cousin, he believed that these statues were taken from various places and brought here to be shipped off somewhere, so this was once a warehouse for these statues and that’s why the Buddha park is sitting next to the Mekong River, and across from Laos is Thailand, Nong Kai Province.
I believed I might feel uneasy at the Buddha Park because I could feel the spirits around me, and I can’t say that they’re all good spirits, everywhere I turn there are strange statues that I’m not familiar with, one that would give me nightmares.