Top 5 Attractions in Vientiane
Vientiane is the capital of the Lao People's Democratic Republic. It's located along the beautiful Mekong River, and Thailand is just opposite the river. Vientiane is a Buddhist city with abundant distinctive Buddhist temples and pagodas. It's an ancient city that preserves the historical traces of Laos; although it's an unpretentious city, it is the political and economic center of Laos. When you travel here in Vientiane, which attractions will be on your must-see list? Here are the top 5 attractions in Vientiane that you should explore.
1. Patuxay Monument
The Patuxay Monument in Vientiane, located in the center of the city, was built to commemorate the liberation and independence of the Lao people. It looks similar to the Arc DE Triomphe in France from a distance and also connects the busiest streets, but its scale is relatively small, and it is carved with figures of Buddha and mythological stories.
There're seven floors in the Patuxay Monument, the first to the fourth floor are indoor sections, there're souvenir shops on the third and the fourth; the fifth and sixth floors are outdoor sections, with a whole view of the city; the seventh floor is also an interior with a very interesting window frame design. There's a little space to look out from the windows.
In front of the Patuxay Monument, there is a music fountain plaza built with Chinese assistance. The fountain will open regularly.
Location: P.D Road, Vientiane, Laos
2. Buddha Park
The Buddha Park was designed and built in 1985 by Bunleua Sulilat, a strangely ambitious monk. There're Hindu and Buddhist sculptures in the Buddha Park. These sculptures include Shiva, Vishnu, Arjuna, Avalokitesvara, and other conceivable deities in Hindu or Buddhist. Among the nearly 100 unique Buddha in the park is the graceful sleeping Buddha with 50-meter-long. There is also a fantastic building with a round tower, which echoes the Wanqiao Park in Nongkhai (Thailand) on the other side of the river, known as "Heaven and Hell" by the local people. The tower itself was separated by a wall full of pictures and statues of human suffering. This was called "Hell"; on the top of the stairs, where is the "Heaven" with a golden Buddha.
Location: Deua, Thanon Tha, Vientiane
3. The Golden Temple of Pha That Luang
The Golden Temple of Pha That Luang is located in the north of Vientiane, 5 kilometers away from the city center. It was originally a part of the Huatarluang Temple.
Pha That Luang, built in 1556, is one of the most magnificent temples in Laos. This temple is covered with real gold. Even on cloudy days, the temple could be seen from a distance. It is said that The Golden Temple of Pha That Luang contains the hair and bones of Sakyamuni, the Buddha. The base of the main tower is square, with a worship booth in each orientation, 30 towers on the second floor, and a tower covered in gold foil on the third. The base of the temple is designed to allow the faithful to climb, with passageways and stairs on each floor. Each side of the corridor is 85 meters long, and a variety of Buddha statues are placed there.
Location: Lane Xang Avenue, Vientiane, Laos
4. Nam Souang Reservoir
Nam Souang Reservoir is also the largest artificial lake in the Mekong sub-basin. It's 60 km away from the downstream of Nam Ngum, northeast of Vientiane. The lake is typical in the forest. If you have a look from a distance, the mountains are surrounded by water, and vice versa, which fully embodies the characteristics of Laos.
Location: Near Route 13, north of Vientiane, Laos
5. Wat Haw Pha Kaew
Wat Haw Pha Kaew, or Jade Buddha Temple, is located in the Vientiane city Setatila Street. Built in 1565 AD, it was a royal Temple built by King Settatirat to honor the jasper Buddha statues brought from Luang Prabang. The temple is a three-story ornate building with a deep hall and a huge altar. The Phra Sihing Buddha is the Buddha to which all the countries on the Indochina Peninsula pay attention, and it has always been a symbol of the control of the dominant monarch.
Location: Setthathirath Road, Vientiane, Laos