Best things to do in Vientiane
Find out more about those top places in Vientiane
Vientiane is not a mega city like some top cities in Asia but it is a city with its unique features. The economic capital of Laos, it has a wealth of beauty and culture. With a population of just 820,940 people the city is one of the fastest growing in Asia and has much significant places that tourists can visit, such as Patuxai Victory Monument Lao National Museum and Wat Si Muang.
Patuxai Victory Monument is one of Laos historical landmarks. Located at the center of Vientiane (Lang Xang Avenue), it was completed in 1957 to commemorate those who fought for the country’s independence from colonial masters France. Sometimes called the “Triomphe Vientiane” or “Patuxai Arch” due to it similarities with Arc de Triomphe.
With typical Laotian designs the monument was designed by Laotian Architect Tham Sayasthena, it has five towers each representing the five principles of coexistence among nations of the World, and they also represent the five Buddhist principles “honor, honesty, prosperity, thoughtful amiability and flexibility”.
Xieng Khuan popularly known as Buddha park contains over 200 Hindu and Buddhist statues. The park was started by Bunleua Sulilat a priest who integrated Buddhism and Hinduism. The sculptures made from reinforced concrete, come in different shapes and sizes. There are sculptures depicting humans, demons, animals and gods. However, the most noticeable is the sculpture that bears a resemblance to the shape of a pumpkin, it has three levels each representing Hell, Heaven and Earth. It is a top tourist site for Laos attracting thousands of visitors yearly. It is really a magical place and tourists are usually excited right from the entrance which is a mouth of a demon.
To get knowledge of Laos history then the Lao National museum is the place to visit. The museum was originally built in the 1970s as residence for the French Governor but has since turned into a place to showcase the rich heritage of Laos. Located on Samsenthai Road it contains a number of exhibits like paintings, sculptures, potteries and jewelries.
Rumored to have been built in the 16th century, the That Lang with a height of 148ft (45.11 m), showcases the architectural brilliance of the city. It is a gold-covered Stupa and it is the most sacred place in the capital. It is also called The Vientiane Great Stupa by locals. The That Luang is a must visit for every tourist.
Built in 1563 the Wat Si Muang is a historical temple of Vientiane with a picturesque design. The temple is said to have been built on the ruins of Khmer Empire Hindu Shrine. Another tale from the locals about the temple is that a Laotian woman sacrificed herself to please the gods in order to get their permission for the building to be erected.