Wat Lao Buddha Phothisaram – Conley, Georgia - Atlas Obscura

Driving down Georgia’s highway 675, you may not notice this temple on one of the corners of the highway—trees block it from view part of the year. But this brightly-colored and gold-trimmed building is Wat Lao Buddha Phothisaram, which loosely translates to Laotian Buddhist temple under the Bodhi trees.

The temple is located just a few miles from the Atlanta airport in the suburb of Conley. Construction started in 1998. It was carried by a group of Laotian elders after they acquired the land with support from the local community. Much of the work was completed in 2006, but the temple continues to expand and improve as funds allow. Wat Lao Buddha Phothisaram is one of four Lao Buddhist Temples in the Atlanta area.

The temple is a sight to behold, featuring two three-headed dragon statues that give the impression of guarding the main altar, beautiful red and gold decorations, and a number of gold Buddha statues who reside there, including some that are works in progress. The three critical components of a temple—monk’s residency, service hall, and Buddha Simma (main altar)—are all present.

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The temple welcomes visitors regularly, and holds events which are advertised on its official website. Monks may or may not come out during your visit, depending on their own activities, but donations are always appreciated.

In partnership with KAYAK

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