I still have stories from my summer trip to Thailand and Laos to share. In Laos but close to the Thai border is the Buddha Park, with many statues of the Buddha as well as assorted Hindu deities and guardians. My friend and I shared a taxi with some Euro tourists and had a great time sharing our travel stories.
Although Thai and Lao people are now mainly Theravanda Buddhist, the origin import from India included Hinduism and its pantheon of deities. I am still unsure how Hinduism was dropped and the locals become Buddhist but the Hindu influence is still strong in many parts of the cultures. The written forms of Thai, Khmer and Lao clearly are Brahmi/Hindu in origin and some of the food has a strong Indian influence (curry being the most obvious example).
The first structure at the front of the park is a large sphere that has an entrance in the shape of a monster’s face. We went in through the fanged mouth of the monster and descended a narrow stone staircase to reach the top of the skull of the monster, giving us a wider view of the entire park.
This statue is the largest Buddha in the park and depicts the Buddha in the reclining position, similar to Wat Pho in Bangkok. Bit of trivia, if the Buddha has his arm supporting his head he is resting while arm at the side represents a dead Buddha. This one is of course resting.
Located about 25kn from Vientiane, this park is a bit out of the way but I feel is worth an afternoon of your life.