Fact file

Sunday Star-Times - - ESCAPE -

More in­for­ma­tion:

In­no­va­tive Travel, a Christchurch-based bou­tique tour op­er­a­tor with 27 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence of­fers trav­ellers the op­por­tu­nity to ex­plore his­tor­i­cally and cul­tur­ally unique des­ti­na­tions world­wide that pro­vide a chal­lenge but with the se­cu­rity of a peace-of-mind 24/7 wrap-around ser­vice. See in­no­va­tive­travel.co.nz

Get­ting there:

Sin­ga­pore Air­lines flies from Auck­land to Sin­ga­pore daily, from Welling­ton four times weekly, and from Christchurch daily: sin­ga­pore­air.com. SilkAir flies from Sin­ga­pore to Vi­en­tiane and Luang Pra­bang three times weekly: silkair.com. Lao Air­lines flies from Vi­en­tiane to Xieng Khouang: laoair­lines.com Bud­dhist tem­ples but two stand out for me.

Wat Sisaket, in Vi­en­tiane, the only build­ing to have sur­vived the raz­ing of the city by Si­amese (Thai) in­vaders in 1828, is the old­est tem­ple in the cap­i­tal. Built from 1881 to 1824 on or­ders of King Anou­vong, it is strik­ingly beau­ti­ful. The shady teak clois­ters sur­round­ing the court­yard, and sanc­tu­ary or ‘‘sim’’ are lined with 10,136 stat­ues of Bud­dha – 2000 large and 8000 minia­tures. It’s a tran­quil, cool place of re­flec­tion and quiet med­i­ta­tion.

Wat Xieng Thong, the most revered

PHO­TOS: JUS­TINE TYERMAN

Jus­tine at Bud­dha Park in Vi­en­tiane, which fea­tures more than 200 Bud­dhist and Hindu stat­ues and sculp­tures cre­ated in 1958 by a Lao priest-shaman, and is one of the most bizarre places she’s vis­ited.

In­no­va­tive Travel guide Fhan at the Plain of Jars in Xieng Khouang prov­ince.

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