Patuxai – Arch of Triumph in Vientiane
06/02/2018 766 Views 0 Comments Brian Vu
Does Vientiane have a monument which is quite similar to the Arc of the Triumph of the Champs Elysees in Paris?
Yes, it is nothing but Patuxai, which is located in the main avenue of the capital city of Laos. Perhaps, no one can deny that Patuxai is one of Vientiane’s most noticeable landmarks possessing the crenellated upper level with five ornate towers featuring the traditional Lao style. Thus, you should not miss this attraction when setting foot in this metropolitan destination.
- Patuxai is also called “the vertical runaway” because there is a fact that the cement used was intended for the construction of a new airport.
- The monument’s name derives from the Sanskrit, in which “patu” and “jaya” mean words for “door or gate” and “victory” respectively.
- The four corners and the fifth central one on the top are the symbols of five Buddhist principles including thoughtful amiability, flexibility, honesty, honor, and prosperity.
- Indonesia presented the peace gong at the northern end of the park to Laos when this People’s Democratic Republic was given the title “the world’s most peaceful country”.
Constructed in the 1960s, the Patuxai monument comes into everyone’s mind as a memorial for those who devoted their life to the wars. Although this huge concrete monument is reminiscent of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, they are still distinctive in some typical aspects. For instances, Patuxai has four arcs while Parisian monument just owns two ones, and the French one is a bit lower than the Laotian’s.
One of the outstanding features of Patuxai that will make a strong impression on your first time visiting this monument is the arches’ ceilings decorated with Lao-style ornamentations like the depictions of the Hindu Gods Brahma and Vishnu and mythological creatures including Kinnaree and the three headed elephant Erawan.
With the entrance fee of 3,000 Kip (38 US cent), you can use the lift or climb a stairway to the top that pass seven floors with offices, souvenir shops and vendors selling drinks and snacks. When reaching the top, five Lao-style towers adorned with flower motifs and topped with a golden finial will make you admiring. Besides, there is a spiral stairway in the central tower leading to the observation deck on top of the monument where you can enjoy stunning view of Vientiane and the Mekong River below.
In addition, the enclave of Patuxai is the outdoor gardens, also known by the name of gardens Patuxai. Interestingly, the Park consists of palm trees, benches, and ponds of lotus flowers but the most striking is the huge fountain with lights and sound donated by China. Indeed, Patuxai seems to be relatively impressive when it is illuminated at night.
Opening hours: 8 am – 4.30 pm on Monday to Friday, and 8 am – 5 pm on Saturday and Sunday.
Location: Patuxai is located at the far end of Thanon Lane Xang in the government and diplomatic district. It sits on the large “island” where the avenue splits into two, opposite the Ministry of Justice to the south and the Prime Minister’s office to the north.
How to get to Patuxai?
Located at the end of Thanon Lane Xang in the government and diplomatic district, Patuxai can be reached by tuk-tuk, bycicle, or on foot. Just going to the Northeast from the Presidential Palace near the river and follow Thanon Lane Xang for five blocks until you see Patuxai arch.
To sum up, Patuxai is worth your try if you plan to travel to Vientiane capital. A visit to this magnificent building will definitely make your tour to Laos more complete and unforgettable.