Lonely Planet calls Xieng Khuan "a monument to one eccentric man's quite bizarre ambition," to unify the Buddhist and Hindu religions. This isn't unheard of, but the sculptures he had made to show this unified iconography are really, really weird. My personal favourite is the gigantic pumpkin, which contains three levels (hell, earth, and heaven) and is entered here:
I suppose all religious images look a bit strange when you first see them - a golden guy sitting cross-legged and smiling with his eyes shut, or a bloody guy nailed to two pieces of wood at right angles - but we usually have some referents when we approach these things. This stuff is even more than usually bizarre.