Built late 18th century, 1821, and onward

The Wat Mai Suwannaphumaham or Wat Mai (New Monastery) is one of the biggest and most beautiful temples in Luang Prabang. Its central position (in front of the night market and beside the Royal Palace) makes it one of the most visited temples of this ancient royal town.

This Wat was built by King Anourout at the end of the XVIIIth century and was enlarged in the XIXth century. Its restoration, during the reign of King Manthatourat (1817-1836) gave it it’s final name of "New Monastery".

This temple is very important for the Laotians of Luang Prabang. After the Chinese had destroyed the town in the last half of the XIXth century, it served as a temple for the royal family, and also sheltered for a long time the Phra Bang, which is a mystical emblem in this country. It was also, the residence of the highest Lao Buddhist dignitary, Pra Sangkharat.

During Pimay, the Lao New Year, the Pha Bang is put on display in this temple for 3 days. Devout Laotians from all over the country come to devoutly sprinkle the statue with water whilst making wishes.

  • Entrance Fee: 10,000 KIP per person

  • Opening hours: Everyday, from 8AM - 5PM


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