Wat Pa Phai, the 'Monastery of the Bamboo Forest', is located on a side street between Sisavangvong and Kounxoua Roads, about 100 meters northwest of Wat Paphane. The temple may have been founded as early as 1645 (per Parmentier) but 1815 is given as a more likely date by Luang Prabang historians.

The temple's sim (congregational hall) is one of a number of Luang Prabang temples built in the so-called Luang Prabang Style III, a UNESCO classification. Hallmarks of this style include the use of columns of the same height on the exterior of the building, a lack of internal columns, the inclusion of a veranda, and the positioning of the main Buddha image against the back wall with no gallery behind it.

The sim's decoration includes an elegant mural painting over the main entrance showing scenes from the life of the Buddha with details derived from 19th-century Lao rural life. The main entrnace to the sim is richly guilded with a prasat-like pediment gilded in gold leaf and studded with glass mosaic work, underneath which is a stunning tympanum featuring a trio of peacocks—two in profile and one with its body projecting from the frame. This may possibly be a reference to the zodiac birth year of the donor; this practice is common in Southeast Asia and also seen at temples in Chiang Mai such as Wat Phan Tao.

The grounds of the temple also include a Thai-style shrine and several recently restored stupas.

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


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