But arriving in a new country, the vision of the variation on the temple of worship can capture you nonetheless. The Golden Temple in Laos' Vientiane is no exception.
I took a tuk tuk tour around town when I arrived in the Laotian capital, and a visit to this temple was one of the main stops delivered by my local driver.
The Pha That Luang stupa is brilliant against the clear blue sky, with it's gold leaf coating. This temple has been destroyed a number of times, and rebuilt to it's glory, through wartimes, since it's original construction at the beginning of Vientiane as the captial in 1566.
The significance of the temple surrounds the content of the main stupa, reportedly a resting point for the holy relic of a breast bone of Lord Buddha. The Golden Temple remains a national symbol for this South East Asian nation, and will be an inclusion on any visit to Laos.
This post is part of a series marking 10 years since I travelled to Cambodia to work as a volunteer. Laos was one of my side-trips.