Wat Phu (also known as Vat Phou or Wat Phou) is one of the two UNESCO world heritage sites in Laos (the other being the city of Luang Prabang). It is a ruined Khmer temple complex near Champasak in southern Laos, located at the base of mount Phu Kao. Although there was a temple on the site as early as the 5th century, the surviving structures date from the 11th to 13th centuries. Wat Phu was shaped to express the Hindu vision of the relationship between nature and humanity, using an axis from mountain top to river bank to lay out a geometric pattern of temples, shrines and waterworks extending over some 10 km. The site nowadays is a centre of Theravada Buddhist worship.
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