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
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
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.