CHAMPASAK, 1 March 2017: Champasak’s Wat Phou World Heritage Office will submit a recently discovered Hindu-era stupa to the provincial governor’s office for approval as a new tourist attraction.
Vientiane Times quoted the office director, Oudomsy Keosaksith, saying the stupa discovered at Nongdinchi temple on Phou Malong mountain in Phonthong district probably pre-dates the Angkor era in neighbouring Cambodia.
“The stupa is older than the Wat Phou World Heritage Site and is also thought to be older than Angkor Wat in Siem Reap,” he claimed.
Wat Phou, a ruined Khmer Hindu temple complex, was built between the 5th and 7th centuries.
Officials are preparing documents for submission to the governor’s office, requesting the site be designated as one of the province’s cultural, historical and natural treasures.
Champasak is a province in southwest Laos, nestled between the borders with Thailand and Cambodia.
Its rich cultural heritage includes ancient temple ruins and French colonial architecture.
Champasak has some 20 temples, such as Wat Phou, Wat Luang, and Wat Tham Fai. Freshwater dolphins and the province’s many waterfalls are tourist attractions.