Vientiane - the sleepy capital of Laos located on the Mekong River. Even if Vientiane is less popular than Luang Prabang between tourists, plenty of impressive attractions can still be found here.
Pha That Luang
Pha That Luang or Great Stupa is a large golden Buddhist stupa in the center of Vientiane. This 45 meters high stupa is believed to enshrine a breast bone of the Buddha and is the most important Buddhist monument in Laos. Pha That Luang is a 45 meters high stupa all covered in gold and surrounded by 30 small stupas.
There are few more picturesque buildings and monuments in the complex of Pha That Luang. This newly built Assembly Hall is another highlight of Pha That Luang. The building is used for meetings and Buddhist ceremonies.
Patuxai is one of the most important monuments of Vientiane. The monument is known as Victory Gate because it was dedicated to those who fought in the struggle for independence from France. Patuxai is located on the Lane Xang Avenue in the center of Vientiane. The monument is similar in style to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and often called the Arc de Triomphe of Vientiane. However, Patuxai has many differences from the French Arc as its design is typically Laotian with the Hindu Gods and various mythological creatures.
Wat Si Saket
Wat Si Saket is a Buddhist temple in Vientiane which may be the oldest temple still standing in the capital of Laos. Wat Si Saket is famous for its cloister wall thousands of Buddha images made from wood, stone and bronze.
Wat Haw Phra Kaew
Wat Haw Phra Kaew or Wat Ho Phra Keo is a temple in Vientiane. This temple was established as the Royal temple and once enshrined the Emerald Buddha, the sacred jade statue of Buddha which now is housed at Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok. Wat Haw Phra Kaew now is turned into a museum of religious art.
Presidential Palace - Palais Présidentiel
The Presidential Palace or Palais Présidentiel is a beautiful French Beaux Arts style building in Vientiane which is the official residence of the President of Laos. The palace is surrounded by picturesque gardens and located on the banks of the Mekong River in the center of the capital of Laos. The Presidential Palace building is closed to the public and can be enjoyed only from the distance.
That Dam (Black Stupa)
That Dam or Black Stupa is an old brick stupa located in the center of Vientiane. That Dam is one of Vientiane’s historical landmarks, located near the morning market in the city center. Black Stupa got its name because of the current view as the bricks and stones have been blackened during the time and it was covered with herbs.
Vientiane Night Market
Vientiane night market is an open-air market that takes place every night on the promenade along the Mekong River. This night market is the best place to buy your Laotian souvenirs in Vientiane.
Lao National Cultural Hall
Laos National Cultural Hall in Vientiane is a building that occasionally hosts dance or musical performances, film showings, political meetings and exhibitions.