Wat Xieng Muan

The sim at Wat Xieng Muan dates to 1879, though no doubt the monastery site is much older. The sculpture inside is better than average and the ceiling is painted with gold nagas, an uncommon motif in this position - possibly a Thai Lu influence. Also no- table is the elaborate haang thien (candle rail) with nagas at either end.

With backing from Unesco and New Zealand, Wat Xieng Muan has restored the monks' quarters for use as a classroom for training young novices and monks in the artistic skills needed to maintain and preserve Luang Prabang's temples. Among these skills are wood-carving, painting and Buddha-casting, all of which came to a virtual halt after 1975. Today if you wander into the peaceful grounds of Wat Xieng Muan during the day you'll see the monastic residents engaged in learning or teaching these arts.