Unlike other busy cities in Asia, Vientiane is a beautiful city to relax for travelers. The capital of Laos has great Buddhist art with charming temples and stunning gardens. Situated on the banks of the Mekong River in southern Laos, the city still retains the vestiges of French colonialism, as it was once part of Indochina where France colonialism used to rule. Below, I will introduce to you the most popular places in Vientiane that you should not miss.
Pha That Luang
Situated in the heart of Vientiane, Pha That Luang is one of the most important monuments in Laos, one of the eight most prominent landmarks in Vientiane. The tower has many steps with each steps representing a different stage. The lowest step represents the material world and the highest step represents the illusory world. Pha That Luang was built in the 16th century, on the vestiges of a former Khmer temple. Pha That Luang was destroyed by an invasion of Siam in 1828, then re-established by the French in 1931.
Ho Phra Kaew
Ho Phra Kaew is considered one of the most beautiful and impressive temples in Vientiane. This was the chapel for the royal family in 1565. For a short time, Ho Phra Kaew used to be the place that kept Jade Buddha stolen from Thailand. Although Thai people stole the statue in the 18th century, the name of this charming temple was changed into a Jade Buddha Temple. Now, it is a museum and no longer used for religious purpose anymore. The temple is famous for its wooden and stone sculptures, and the collection of Buddha statues. Guarding the temple is the majestic dragon. Guests can sit in the garden for rest after visiting.
Laos National Museum
Laos National Museum is an ideal place to know more about Laotian people from prehistoric times. The museum is located in a building which used to be the colony of French colonialism. Although it is decaying and some of the artifacts are blurred, this does not make this museum become less attractive. The bottom floor focuses on the history of the country together with dinosaur bones and ceramic fragments. The upper floors contain modern things of Laos, including the struggle for independence from the French colonialists, and the presence of the United States during the Vietnam War.
Talat Sao – morning market
Situated at the corner of the East Street between Lane Xang and Khu Vieng in the main area of Vientiane Capital, this market is opened from 7 a.m to 4 p.m. This is extremely a popular destination for tourists to visit and go shopping in the capital of Laos. In the market, there are many small shops, restaurants, fruit and vegetable shops, jewelry shops, silk, handicrafts, musical instruments, electronics, etc. Talat Sao is a place that brings Lao character to many tourists, so you will be easy to find a few items for giving to relatives or friends.
Sisaket Temple is a famous temple in Vientiane with a wall which contains hundreds of sitting Buddha statues. There are 6,800 statues made of wood, stone, and copper. This magnificent Buddhist art collection dates from the 16th to the 18th century. Visitors who visit the temple in the morning can receive colorful Buddhist services. Sisaket is known as the oldest monastery in Laos with a charming architectural style. The unique character of this temple is the 5-storey porch roof.
Buddha statue garden
Buddha garden is adjacent to the Mekong River, about 24 km from Vientiane. The garden contains more than 200 statues, including a sleeping Buddha statue 40 meters high. Visitors who want to take the best pictures of this famous sculpture park have to go through a demon. Visitors need to climb a three-story stone staircase and get to the top of the pumpkin structure. Afer that, you can see the entrance like the shape of a demon’s mouth. The park’s most famous statues include a Hindu god riding a three-headed elephant and another god with 12 faces and lots of hands.
Patuxuay makes you reminisce the Arc de Triomphe architecture in Paris. However, in Laos, it consists of four arches and five towers decorated with many motifs. Patuxuay is built to commemorate the day thaLaos gained independence from France colonialism. The attraction of this prominent place is that it was built specifically for the Lao soldiers who died during World War II and in the wars of independence from France.
Vientiane river bank
Local people usually come to the river bank where there are many relaxing and entertaining activities. Situated on the banks of the Mekong River separating Vientiane from Thailand, you will find a colorful night market with many shops. Besides, Guests can also relax at the bar with a beer and watch the sunset. The night is coming, the banks of the river are bustling. It is easy to see children playing football and older people are exercising.