The Buddha Park

About 25 km outside of Vientiane is the Buddha Park. The Buddha Park was started—for devotional reasons, probably—in 1958 by a shaman, Bunleua Sulilat, who fused Hinduism and Buddhism into his own syncretic cult. The statues, which look like they were collected from ancient temples across Laos, are actually modern creations of reinforced concrete.

The site made me think of a 1970s lawn ornament store, complete with a sales pitch:

Come on down to Buddy’s Buddha Barn!

We got Buddhas that are small—Buddhas that are tall—

Buddhas lying down—Buddhas on the ground!

A three-headed Buddha? A six-armed Buddha? You know we got it!

And for you Hindus—this weekend, we’re running a special on Durgas!

So don’t get stupa’d—Come on down to Buddy’s Buddha Barn!*
*(Right next to Gary’s Ganesha Garden on Highway 1.)

Odds are I’m going to some kind of Buddhist hell for this.