Nong Khai's largest Buddha image
Made from an alloy of gold, silver and bronze, the namesake seated Buddha is four metres tall and was cast by a king of Nakhon Wiang, a long-since disappeared minor kingdom, way back in 1562. With its sparkling gold headdress, the image is nothing short of stunning. Along with Luang Phor Sai at Wat Pho Chai, Luang Phor Ong Tue is one of Nong Khai’s two most sacred Buddha images.
The pleasant temple grounds are set alongside a Mekong tributary, with two massive Bodhi trees hanging over the river. The temple is probably not worth visiting on its own unless you’re really into ancient Buddha images, but it’s an easy detour while on a motorbiking trip to Sri Chiang Mai and Sangkhom.
Take the riverside road west from Nong Khai and merge right onto Route 212 in the town of Tha Bo. Head straight north from there and watch for signs for "Luang Pho Phra Chao Ong Tue" pointing down a side road to the left, not long after passing over a small bridge. The temple is a km down the road, on the other side of the river. It's an easy walk from the main road to the temple, but you'll have to wait a while for the next bus or songthaew in either direction.
David Luekens first came to Thailand in 2005 when Thai friends from his former home of Burlington, Vermont led him on a life-changing trip. Based in Thailand since 2011, he spends much of his time eating in Bangkok street markets and island hopping the Andaman Sea.
These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.
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