Resilience of Buddha statue at Vat Phiavat

At our recent exploration in Laos, we explored into more of its rich history with a visit to Vat Phiavat in Muang Khoun, Xieng Khoung. It was originally constructed in 1322 by Chao Larn Kham Khong with the purpose of housing the first Buddhist statue brought from Burma to Xieng Khouang. However, the temple faced various trials throughout its existence.

In 1375, invading Chinese forces destroyed Vat Phiavat and severed the left arm of the revered Buddhist statue. Despite this setback, reconstruction efforts commenced shortly after the destruction. The temple endured further devastation during the conflicts of the mid-20th century. In 1953, amid the war with France, Vat Phiavat was razed to the ground. However, restoration work began promptly the following year in 1954.

Tragically, the temple faced its final destruction during the late 1960s due to the intense bombing campaigns carried out by the United States in Xieng Khouang Province during the Vietnam War era.

Despite the repeated destruction suffered by Vat Phiavat, the Buddha statue housed within it managed to survive these bombs and more. This statue holds significant reverence among Buddhists despite the temple’s physical demise, serving as a testament to the resilience of faith amid adversity.

Travel with us at Bespoke Laos and explore more of Laos’ rich history and culture with our niche travel programs!


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