The Capital of Lao P.D.R

Vientiane or (Vieng Chan) is a small, relaxed city and has more of a small town feel than that of a capital. It is stretched out on the north-eastern bank of a bend in the Mekong River. From the river bank inland, the three main roads run parallel to the river, while the largest and widest boulevard, Lane Xang Ave, runs from the Presidential Palace to the northeast around Patuxai, the Victory Gate, towards the That Luang Stupa, the most important religious monument in Laos.

What to See!!!

Phatuxai (Victory Gate).

The Patuxay, was built in 1957 and is perhaps the most prominent landmark in the city. It is located on Lane Xang Avenue; commemorate those who died in past wars. The monument was modeled after the Arc de Triumph in Paris, yet retains its Laotian identity with traditional decorative motifs. Climb to the top for a panoramic view of the city.

That Luang Stupa.

The original was built in 1566 by King Sayasetthathirath, and was restored in 1953. The Gold stupa is 45 meters tall and is believed to contain a relic of the Lord Buddha. The gold centerpiece of this stupa echoes the curve of an elongated Lotus bud. Today it is the most important national cultural monument.
Symbolizing the coming together of all Lao people it holds a special place in the national psyche. The shrine is the focus of the annual That Luang Festival. The festival is celebrated for 7 days and nights during the twelfth full moon of the Buddhist lunar calendar. Monks are presented with flower offerings and residents enjoy traditional cultural performances.

Wat Sisaket.

It is an ancient temple remaining intact after the destruction of the city by the Siamese in 1828. It’s located in the center of the old city, where it was built in 1818 by King Anouvong. The old monastery stands intact in its original form and certainly is one of the most interesting in the country. Inside the main hall, the courtyard walls house hundreds of little niches and shelves containing a total of 6,840 Buddha images.

Wat Pra Keo.

The Emeral Buddha temple was built in 1565 by King Sayasetthathirath to house the Emerald Buddha 1565-1779 (lots to the Siamese in 1828) as his personal place of worship. It was later reconstructed in 1936. For this reason and unlike other temples in Laos, monks have not taken up residence here. During the 1970’s the temple was converted from a place of worship into a museum and now houses the finest national collection of Buddhist sculptures and artifacts. From the terrace of Hor Pra Keo, one can enjoy a view overlooking the President’s Palace (former Royal Palace) and gardens.

Buddha Park.

This Buddha park (Xieng khuan) was conceived in 1958 under the direction of Luang Pu Bunleua Sulilat, a Laotian monk, hosts a collection of larger-than-life sculptures that merge Buddhist and Hindu traditions. The park is located roughly 24 km south of Vientiane, across from the town of Nong Khai (Thailand) where Bunleua later erected a similar pantheon of sculptures.

Nearby Vientiane Capital's sight seeing.

Khammoun Province. 

Get on the road and travel 5 hours south of Vientiane and you will discover an undiscovered gem in Khammoune province.  An excellent 3day 2 night extension tour from Vientiane would include a boat trip on the beautiful Hin Boun River to Kong Lor, a cave over 7km long that you can travel right through by boat.  Time is also spent in the Mekong Riverside town of Thakek, displaying some fantastic faded French colonial architecture.

Vang Vieng.

Just 3 hours drive north of Vientiane, Vang Vieng is the ideal stop off point on the road journey to Luang Prabang.  Vang Vieng itself is simply beautiful, offering dramatic limestone karst scenery amid a riverfront setting.  One can enjoy a visit to the local caves and take a pleasant boat trip on the Nam Song River, but really this is the place to come for soft adventure, trekking, cycling, kayaking and rock climbing is all possible here.

Nam Ngum Dam.

This is a first Hydroelectric Dam on the Nam Ngum river, a major tributary of the Mekong river in Laos. It was the first hydropower dam built in Lao PDR. It was constructed in three stages, beginning in with stage I in 1968 and ending with the completion of stage III in 1984. Nam Ngum Lake, approximately 90 kilometres north of Vientiane.