SI KHOTTABONG GREAT
Along the road 13 S, from Vientiane to Thakhek, before arriving in
Thakhek at km 8, on the right hand side, a great wall stretches.
People say that it was built in Sikhottabong empire, in the 9th
century. Some say it is 11 km long while the others say it's about 15
Its shape and structure is strange. There are three layers of large
rocks that fill and join each other. Unfortunately, only a few parts
of the walls are seen because the local inhabitants cleared the rocks
out for the house yards preparation and for road alignment. Only some
sections remain as the trail. The principal remaining parts are at the
km 8 area.
According to the data collected from Khammouane tourist office, the
great wall is located about 6 Km from thakhek. Some say it was built
by the ancient people or by nature. It is a square and long rock. The
tallest section is about 15 meters high, and 150 meters long while the
rest is about 10 meters high.
In the past 40 years, the great wall has been covered by bushes and
jungle. At the present time, its trail can be seen from Namdone river
at km 12 along the road No.13 and some sections are in the area of
Thakhek municipality. This great wall should be kept as a heritage of
the nation. It is a good site for tourism to study about the
historical and magical arts created by the ancient people.
NAGA ROCKET AND
WAT PRABAT PHONESANE
Phonesane is one of the most important temples and tourist sites in
Bolikh- amxai province. It is situated km 82 from Vientiane on the
left hand side of road N.13 south.
Wat Naganimid Phonesane
was first built on the right hand side and 2 km from the natio- nal
road to the Mekong river.
Wat Phabat Phonesane is the Lord of Buddha foot print teple and stupa.
It is beautiful place to visit and worship.
Wat Naganimid was built of the top pf the hill and has 100 stairs and
surrounded by the big trees which made the temple more attractive.
Wat Phabat Phonesane and Wat Naganimid are not the same temples.
There is an old saying which say that Wat Phabat Phonesane place the
Lord Buddha sit for lunch, when he srrived from Somphoutavib to teach
the Buddha's word. When he looked for a place to sit for lunch, there
were no places for him, becuase everywhere were his former graveyards.
Because of that, the king of the dragon named Soukahathinak collested
the rocks and soils to form the hill for him to have lunch.
After lunch, before he said good bye, the dragons named Soukahathinak
and Sangkala- nak requested him to print this foot print as the symbol
of Buddhism in Kokchikviengngoua hill which was as far as the shout of
an elephant from the place where he took lunch. The Lord Buddha
printed his foot print on the rock as we have seen in Wat Phabat
The size of the foot print is 40 cm deep 1.20 cm wide and length 2.40
cm. the nails of the foot are the same length. The images of the
wheel, the lotus and one hundred and eight types of animals marked in
the central of the foot. It was his right leg and facing to the Mekong
river. After the image of the Buddha foot was printed, the dragon
arranged a religious ceremony then returned to their kingdom.
Since than, at the end of the Buddhist lent, the king of the Naga and
his followers have organized rocket festivals to worship the print in
an annual ceremony. That is because people see the man made rockets
lights launched from the land and the river. It is called Bangfai
PhaNhanak (The Naga rocket).
WAT LUANG OU NEUA
Wat ou Neua or "Wat Luang Ou Neua" compared to Wat ou Tay is also an
ancient structure with close age, which had been built in the same
century. Within an area composing of four villages; Ban Xieng Khon, Na
Bon, Nong Ngay and Don Yaeng, the Ou Neua village is a village of the
Lue ethnic groups. Ou Neua village has two temples, one at the north
side of the village is called Wat Chai, this temple is not large and
was built in 1927.
The other temple is situated near the Phonxay hill square from the
road at the back of the village. this temple is called Wat Luang or "Wat
Ou Neua", because it is larger than Wat Chai (opinion of the writer).
All structures of Wat Luang are very beautiful, there is a double
overlapping roof by the Lue artist, adornment in the shrine consist of
technique and fine arts, it is where a big Buddha image and other
important Buddha statues are enshrined. It is widely respected by the
Lue people. At close quarters to temple there is a stone inscription
written in Chinese. The writing is said to be concerned with the
construction of the temple, but it has not been proven because the
writing is unreadable.
Inside the temple, there is a history saying that: Sean Luang Phor
Kham because the guardian of Muong Ou city in 801. Sathu Thamachivo
because a Buddhist monk in 803, before becoming His Holiness
Thamachivo. His Holiness Thamachivo victoriously defeated invaders
with his sayings. Therefore, an area of land in BanNam Mum and Ban
Kong was granted to H.H Thamachivo in to the year 806. The huge Buddha
image was built in 1923, by the architecture of Chao Maha Tom.
From the information written in the pagoda, the guardian of Muong Ou
city sighted the accomplishment of His Holiness Thamachivo and so upon
agreement granted an area of land to build Wat luang Ou Neua in the
year 806 ( The year 801, 803 and 806 is unknown if it is A.D. or B.E.?
only to an understanding that it was built adjacent to Wat Ou Tay in
the same century).
Near at hand Wat Luang or "Wat Ou Neua", is Pra That Phouxay Stupa,
with its location on the top of the hill, with 400 stairs leading to
the top. Our team was not able to reach this area because the night
rolled in, only a view at the bottom was taken. Traveling the distance
to Wat Ou Tay village we were unlucky and regretted not able to pay
respect to Pra That Phouxay Stupa. However, both Wat in Ou Neua and
Pra That Phonxay stupa, still remains a natural and cultural tour to
study about the fin arts and architecture of the Lue ethnic groups.