Justine Tyerman travelled to Laos, famous for its many beautiful Buddhist temples.
I stood in the shade of the teak cloisters, grateful for some respite from the intense heat and humidity of the Laos sun. My eyes struggled to absorb the images surrounding me – 10,136 statues of Buddha dating back to the 16th century lined the walls of the courtyard that enclosed Wat Sisaket, a strikingly-beautiful temple and museum in Vientiane, the capital of Laos.
Built in 1818 on orders of King Anouvong, it’s the only building to have survived the razing of the city by Siamese (Thai) invaders in 1828 making it the oldest temple in the city.
I was utterly mesmerised by the statues, especially the 8000 tiny miniatures placed in triangular niches in the walls. In front of them are...