Luang Prabang’s Wat Pah Duak: Monastery of the Bamboo Forest

Wat Pah Duak, Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang is truly a city of temples. It’s considered the spiritual epicenter of Laos, and there are certainly no shortages on holy structures in the city. One of these is Wat Pah Duak (sometimes spelled “Wat Pa Huak”), a small temple that sits about halfway up the hill in the center of Luang Prabang. We were climbing the hill one day to see the larger, more famous temple at the top when we came across Wat Pah Duak. I can’t find much information about it, but one source claims the name means “Monastery of the Bamboo Forest,” and claims the temple was built around 1861.

Steps leading to temples in Luang Prabang

Front of Wat Pah Duak, Luang Prabang

Around the temple there were several groups of children selling bracelets “for money for school.” That kind of thing breaks my heart, but I know deep down it’s better to not give money to child beggars. It sure does hurt to walk away from those little faces and say no though!

Children peddlers in Luang Prabang

Once inside the temple, shrines to Buddha were piled high with food, drink and flowers, and people prayed quietly on the floor. Beautiful intricate murals covered the inside walls, and a small donation box sat near the door asking for money to help with the upkeep of the temple. All in all, it was a pretty typical temple for Southeast Asia, but very beautiful nonetheless.

Wat Pah Duak sign, Luang Prabang

Sign for Wat Pa Houak, Luang Prabang

Roof of Wat Pah Duak, Luang Prabang

Details at Wat Pah Duak, Luang Prabang

Details in Luang Prabang temple

Details at Wat Pah Duak, Luang Prabang 3

Murals at Wat Pah Duak, Luang Prabang

Murals at Wat Pah Duak, Luang Prabang 2

Murals at Wat Pah Duak, Luang Prabang 3

Buddha shrine in Luang Prabang temple

Roof details at Wat Pah Duak, Luang Prabang

Carved details at Wat Pah Duak, Luang Prabang

Outside roof details at Wat Pah Duak, Luang Prabang

Which is your favorite photo from Wat Pah Duak? 

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