Buddha Park is a surreal and fanciful sculpture garden full of Hindu and Buddhist statues about 24km (15 miles) out of town heading south along the river. It is a concrete testament to the obsession of Luang Pu, a shamanist priest who conceived and started building the park in the 1950s. He died in 1996. The statues are captivating, whether they are snarling, resting, or saving maidens in distress (or carrying them to their doom -- it's hard to tell). Luang Pu gained a big following before the Communist takeover with his message combining Hinduism, Buddhism, and mythology into a pluralistic hodgepodge of beliefs. He moved over the river to Thailand in the mid-'70s where he carried on with his mission, establishing Wat Khaek in Nong Khai. The huge reclining Buddha is outstanding; you can climb on its arm for a photo. There is also a large pumpkin-shaped dome to climb, itself filled with sculptures. The dusty and bumpy bus ride here provides clear views of Thailand across the Mekong. To get there, take a bus from Talat Sao for 40¢ or hire a tuk-tuk for round-trip.