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“A deeper look at daily life of a temple” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Wat Choumkhong

Wat Choumkhong
Sotika Kuman Road, Luang Prabang, Laos
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San Francisco, California
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“A deeper look at daily life of a temple”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013

I had the good accident of staying across the street from Wat Choumkhang at the Sala Prabang hotel ( which I highly recommend.) The gardens are lovely, with flowering trees, and several good and unusual statues. Monks and teenage novice monks live together here, and academic classes are taught daily.

Through ot the day the pulse of temple life flashes before you as the monks,dressed in bright orange robes, tend the garden, rush to their classes and hang out their laundry to dry.

Wooden and metal gongs are struck to call the monks to the main temple for meditation, prayers and chanting. Every evening at 6pm they gather in the temple to Chang. Local villagers and tourist sit outside the temple, respectfully, to listen. In th morning at 6:15 am, a wooden gong is struck to summon the monks to assemble for the procession to gather alms.

While walking through the garden, I was asked by a teenage novice monk, with a shaved head, to join his fellow classmates for a conversation. They wanted to practice their English. All of the boys were from small farming villages, and they became novice monks for an education, their equivalent of high school. One of the boys asked to correct his pronunciation as a he read aloud in English from his textbook on US culture and history, which was better than what I had read in High school in the US. All of the boys would leave the monastery within two years. Some hoped to work in tourism, one wanted to go back to his village to teach English.

Over the next several days, as I walked through the temple back to my hotel, I saw these young monks washing their clothes, and being teenage boys, engage in the pranks teenage boys around the world engage in, throwing buckets of water on each other, with quiet laughter .

Visit this Wat without the urge to find the perfect tourist photo, but to experience temple life, which is a vital part of daily life in Luang Prabage.

Visited March 2013
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11 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
Haacht, Belgium
Top Contributor
214 reviews 214 reviews
121 attraction reviews
Reviews in 91 cities Reviews in 91 cities
157 helpful votes 157 helpful votes
“A picturesque temple with a lovely garden”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2013

Luang Prabang has many old and beaufiful temples. You can't visit them all, but I really liked Wat ChoumKhong. The temple is a bit hidden between the touriststreet and the Mekong, next to bigger Wat Xieng Muang. It is a charming temple, but what it makes it different from the others is the lovely garden with golden Buddha statues.

Visited September 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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