Wat Ong Theu

Chatty monks and a big Buddha

Photo of , , Vientiane

What we say: 3 stars

Known as the Temple of the Heavy Buddha, Wat Ong Theu was originally built in the late 16th century by King Setthathirat but, like most of Vientiane, it was destroyed during the Thai invasion of 1828.

The temple you see now was rebuilt at the turn of the 20th century and sits in a shady compound surrounded by palm trees. The temple is quite colourful, with bright yellow and red accents, and inside sits the temple's namesake, the largest cast bronze Buddha in the province. This sizeable sitting Buddha was the only object from the original Wat Ong Theu to survive the razing, and now sits serenely surrounded by smaller statues and offerings. Though the temple is not the most spectacular in the city, its location near many guesthouses makes it a convenient place to go for a meditative stroll. Inside the temple grounds is the Sangha School, where monks from across Laos go to study Buddhist doctrines.

This is also where a monthly "monk chat" is held to give the resident monks a chance to practise their English with tourists. It's held on the first Sunday of the month, from 15:00 till 17:00. Email them at monkchatlaospdr@gmail.com.

More details
Setthathilath Rd, near Chao Anou
Opening Hours: Not specific, but generally during waking hours.
Last updated: 5th November, 2013
Last reviewed by:
Born in Aarhus Denmark, Ivana got her first passport at 6 months old and moved to Southeast Asia in 2009 to work as an English teacher and find new cultural windows in which to peep.

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