I wrote about Sala Keo Kou Sculpture Park back in 2009. That was my first visit there and I’ve been back a few times since. The most recent one being January this year. Not a lot has changed since 2009 – entrance is still 20 THB and Nong Khai’s sculpture park still exhales the same charm and beauty.
Sala Keo Kou Sculpture Park – Nong Khai
The main change since my first visit is my camera. The quality is much improved. By no means perfect, but an upgrade nonetheless. I hope the photographs impress enough to entice at least one reader to visit Sala Keo Kou Sculpture Park.
The sculptures are impressive and there’s plenty of them to be impressed by. Wikipedia has a page detailing the history of the park. Worth a read.
Sala Keo Kou was founded by Thai born spiritual cult leader and sculptor Luang Pu Bunleua Sulilat (1932-1996) who years earlier constructed the Buddha Park near Vientiane, Laos.
‘I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.’ – Michelangelo
In my opinion, the sculpture park is an extraordinary feat of creativity and craftsmanship. To some eyes, Nong Khai’s jewel in the crown. Weather permitting, it is an enjoyable place to visit. No hard sell attached. Just 20 baht.
I’m not sure how many 20 baht notes you would need to buy a jet wash but some of the statues do look grimy. Perchance, that adds a vein of character to the sculptures. That aside, the stone carvings are very impressive.
The sculpture park has never been overflowing with visitors during my visits. Always a sparse or steady stream of sightseers and Facebook junkies. That’s not a bad thing (crowd levels).
One of the main attractions at Sala Keo Kou is the Buddhist Wheel of Life. Thais seem drawn to it and is best explained by an extract from my 2009 post.
One of the main features is The Buddhist Wheel of Life, a concrete anthology of sculptures that follow the Buddhist path from birth through the life cycle – childhood, marriage, old age, death and eventual rebirth to a better life as reward for merit made in their previous one.
Sala Keo Kou Pavilion (picture above) is three-storey and safeguards the preserved body of Luang Pu Bunleua Sulilat. The shrine is on the third floor and has pictures of Bunleua Suliat and varied artefacts. As can be seen, the pavilion merits a look-see. It is an impressive sight.
Further Information & Map
The sculpture park has some food, clothing, souvenir and bric-à-brac market stalls outside. Not to mention the habitual lottery seller as well. There is ample car parking and toilet facilities too. For the most part, everything a tourist needs.
Address – Wat That, Mueang Nong Khai District, Nong Khai 43000, Thailand
Entry Fees – Tourists 20 THB.
Open – 8am-6pm Monday-Sunday
Click on the map to enlarge
© 2018, Martyn. All rights reserved.