Although the landscape is not very eye-catching, Wat Manolom is the oldest temple in Luang Prabang. In the temple, there is a famous bronze statue of Luang Prabang.
Wat Manolom was built in 1375 by the son of King Fa Ngoum. Only a huge bronze Buddha is left in this temple. If it does not calculate the base, its height is up to 6 meters, and weighs 12 tons, and the local cast copper is 15 cm thick. As the treasure of Luang Prabang, the Buddha statue can be moved to other temple. But no one knows how to move it. Therefore, how the bronze statue moved to this place hundreds of years ago became a mystery.
It is said that in the 19th century, Thailand and France had competed for this bronze Buddha. After the colonial era, the French colonists hurriedly took away a bronze Buddha’s arm and disappeared. The Lao government later re-created a new arm as it was, and restored the bronze Buddha.
There is still some criticism of the completion time of Wat Manolom. Some people think it was built by Samsenthai in 1372 or 1375, and some people think it was built during the reign of Laasaenthai Bouvanaat in 1392.
Wat Manolom is a long way from downtown Luang Prabang and it takes about half an hour to get there by bike. The temple is located on the top of the mountain, hidden in a dense jungle, with few external tourists. It is a very quiet temple. If you have enough time, you can experience the bike tour there by yourself. The scenery of the many forest trails on the way to the temple is also very good. It is worthwhile to enjoy it.
Although Wat Manolom is small, it has a long history. It can be said to be the oldest temple in Luang Prabang. There are many Buddha statues in the temple. It is majestic, and the ancient temple buildings are well preserved! There are a lot of small accessories selling nearby.