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Things to Do Vientiane
Having escaped the hoards of tourists that usually visit the other popular tourists destinations of asia, everything to see in Vientiane seems far more authentic. You wont find state of the art, purpose built tourist complexes. Instead you will find many historical and cultural experiences bringing together both a truly Asian culture with certain hints of European influence from the French. Whats even better is that as Vientiane is a relatively small city, you’ll never have too far to go.
Some of the main attraction include:
Buddha Park (Xieng Khuan)
The Buddha Park or Wat Xieng Khuan houses a 40 meter Buddha, the largest cement statue in Laos. include statues of gods, animals, humans and other characters that have a high symbolic value in the Hindu and Buddhist religions. From Vientiane you can get to the Buddha Park by tuk tuk which will cost you about 700 bht. The entrance fee including a surcharge to use your camera will cost you around 1 USD. Enter the giant pumpkin structure and you’ll find a set of stairs leading you to the top of the statue. Entering through a giant dragon you;ll find a rooftop scattered with statues and a superb view of the park.
Patuxai Victory Monument
In the late afternoon at Patuxai or Victory Monument you’ll find many locals socializing and taking in the beautiful scenery. Situated on Lang Xang Avenue the “Victory Gate” was built to pay respect to those who died in the pre-Communist wars in the fight for independence. The monument which bares a striking resemblance to the arc de triomphe has 5 towers, which represent the five Buddhist principles: thoughtful amiability, flexibility, honesty, honour and prosperity. For less than USD1 you climb the stairs to the top and take in the panoramic views of the city.
The Presidential Palace
The Presidential Palace, not to be confused with the Lao Presidents home is situated on the corner of Lane Xang Street and Settathirath Road. Formerly both a government and Royal residence it construction began in the late seventies and finally opened it doors in 1986. Although closed to the public photos can be taken from outside. Visit at night for some great photos when it is lit up.
Lao National Museum
The Lao National Museum is housed in a former French colonial previously home to the french governor. built in 1925The museum tells the story of the evolution of loas throughout the revolution to the modern day. It teaches us about the struggle Laos went through to be rid foreign forces occupying it’s country. Located on Samsenthai road, opposite the Cultural Hall it definitely worth checking out to to learn more about the Laos history.
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