Wat Xieng Thong is an enchanting Buddhist monastery that is a delight to wander through. As the locals say, the exterior of the temple evokes a bird with outstretched wings, or a mother hen sheltering her brood. The walls on the inside of the temple are decorated with stencilled gold motifs on a black or maroon background. Entering the dimly lit temple, my eyes adjusted to the lack of light. Even with the doors open the interior of the temple is dark, but the illumination offered by candles add a glow to the images. The candles provide enough light to make out the the gold, shimmering motifs floating on the dark walls, depicting a variety of stories about the lives of the Buddha.