Vientiane

Vientiane

Location:

Vientiane, which is the capital of Laos, is on a bend of the Mekong River, at which point it forms the border with Thailand.

Characteristics:

The city has a population of 450,000, about 10% of the country's population. Vientiane is a city full of surprises with the most attracting destination as belows:

Buddha Park (Xieng Khuan)

This famous Buddha Park (also known as Xieng Khuan) is located 25km outside Vientiane and features over 200 elaborately designed religious statues and sculptures, including a huge 40-metre high reclining Buddha image.

That Luang – Vientiane Great Stupa

​ That Luang, or The Great Stupa, is the most sacred monument in the whole of Laos, and certainly one of the country’s most beautiful. Dating back to the 16th century, this giant golden temple complex looks more like a fortress than a place of worship with its set of turrets surrounding a central stupa standing 148 feet tall.

Patuxai Victory Monument

The impressive Patuxai Victory Monument is one of the most distinctive landmarks amongst the modest Vientiane skyline. The massive concrete arch – reminiscent of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris - is intricately designed with images of Hindu Gods and is topped off with five towers all in the traditional Laotian style.

Vientiane Night Market

Take a stroll along the river front in Vientiane at night and you can’t fail to miss this giant sprawling market, with its instantly recognisable red-roofed stalls and crowds of tourists who come to snap up a bargain – or to just soak up the laidback Mekong atmosphere.

Wat Ho Phra Keo

​ The famous Wat Ho Phra Keo is a stunning Buddhist temple near the centre of Vientiane that dates back to 1565. The striking appearance, however, is not the only reason for its well-documented fame throughout this part of Asia. Wat Ho Phra Keo once housed the Emerald Buddha after it was snatched from northern Thailand (then Siam) by the Laotian king. The sacred jade statue was then reclaimed by the Thai army in 1778 and now takes pride of place in Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok.

Wat Si Muang

Wat Si Muang is one of Vientiane’s most popular sites of worship. Alongside its interesting Laos-Buddhist architecture, it provides a fascinating story that still holds great significance with the Laotian community today. According to local legend, the temple is named after a young woman, Si Muang, who sacrificed herself at the construction site of the main building over 400 years ago in order to appease angry spirits.

 

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