5 Attractions You Must Visit in Vientiane
24/01/2018 421 Views 0 Comments Brian Vu
Due to a large number of ethnicities that make up the population in Laos, taking a trip to the Vientiane capital is an ideal approach to grasp a comprehension of the valued history as well as the cultural diversity of this landlocked country. To ensure that you have a truly wonderful time in Vientiane’s laidback atmosphere, here are our 5 top-rated attractions for you to check out. Significantly, do not forget grab your camera and hit the streets to broaden your horizons, you will feel like a local in no time!
1. Xieng Khuan (Buddha Park)
Coming to a tranquil country of Laos, visiting the Buddha Park (also known as Xieng Khuan) - a not-only-for-Buddhists destination located 25 km on the outskirts of Vientiane, is the first thing that you should not skip. In fact, this site gets its name from over 200 elaborately designed statues belonging to Hinduism and Buddhism, typically a huge 40-meter reclining Buddha sculpture. Actually, setting foot in a place featuring curious mix of religious styles like this, you will be gasped with surprise at the king of Hindu gods riding the three-headed elephant (aka Erawan and Airavata), a four-armed deity sitting on a horse along with another one who has 12 faces and many hands holding varying objects. Interestingly, coming in all shapes, size, details, and features of statues makes the Buddha Park beloved in not only believers but also tourists all over the world.
Opening Hours: Daily from 08:00 – 18:00
2. That Luang Stupa
Dating back to the 16th century, That Luang (also called The Great Stupa) - a sacred monument is regarded as one of the most gorgeous symbol in the whole of Laos. In terms of architecture, this golden temple complex looks more like a fortress surrounded by high walls than a place of worship with its set of turrets bordering a central stupa standing up to 148 feet tall if being observed from the outside. In addition to Lao style in the structure, this gold-covered Buddhist stupa also possesses Buddhist features like red-lacquer doors, pointed lesser stupas, or a wide range of Buddha, flower and animal images. Specifically, November is the time for celebrating the Boun That Luang Festival, which makes this destination an ideal place for everyone to take part in parades, live music and religious ceremonies.
3. Anou Savary (Patuxai Victory Monument)
- 08:00 - 16:30, from Monday to Friday
- 08:00 - 17:00 on Saturday and Sunday
Built between 1957 and 1968 with five ornate towers in the traditional Lao style, the Patuxai Victory Monument seems to cut a unique figure on the Vientiane skyline because of its distinctions. With the meaning "Victory Gate”, this monument was constructed with the purpose of expressing respect for Laotians who dedicated their whole life in the fight to gain independence from France, as well as from the nation’s earlier occupiers, Siam and Japan.
Coming here, you definitely have a surprised feeling about its exterior embellishments which feature typical Buddhist religious symbols such as lotus leaves and the stupa-shaped towers, statues of animist kinnari (half-female and half-bird figures), and nagas (dragons). Apart from the outside building, the interior parts of this monument richly decorated with painted walls and ceilings depicting gods, goddesses as well as big elephants also draw your attention. Just need a small amount of fee, you will have an opportunity to climb up the stairs towards the top to enjoy stunning city views, particularly at sunset of an old-fashioned Vientiane.
4. Vientiane Night Market
At night, taking a stroll along the bank of Mekong River passing through Vientiane without visiting the Night Market will leave a sense of regretting for you. Being an open-air market, outstanding red-roofed stalls make the whole riverside area awake with not only the guests but also the joggers that come to enjoy the romantic sunset and cooling atmosphere. Normally, the sellers get started to set up their stalls with a variety of products that are like your expectation such as souvenirs, electronics, clothes, accessories, and paintings around the sunset. Furthermore, do not quickly have the anxiety about your hungry feeling because there is a vast array of street eating options that seem to pop up on every corner.
5. Wat Ho Phra Keo
When it comes to Wat Ho Phra Keo, everyone tend to regard it as a stunning Buddhist temple nearby the heart of Vientiane capital that dates back to 1565. Owning a striking architecture, however, is not the only explanation for its well-documented reputation throughout regional areas as well as global countries. More importantly, it was built in order to house the Emerald Buddha after being snatched from northern Thailand (then Siam) by the Laotian king. Nowadays, instead of being used as a place of worship, this temple of the Emerald Buddha plays another essential role as a museum displaying an altar for the Emerald Buddha, some of the best Lao Buddhist sculptures, artifacts, carvings, and scriptures. Although this site now has no precious statue, it is still worth a visit for exploring an ancient part of Vientiane.
All in all, whether you intend to visit Vientiane metropolis or not, this metropolis still awaits you to serve with its best distinctions.