The discovery of Laos

Wat Ho Phra Keo

Vientiane boasts several beautiful temples or wats, but one of the most impressive and interesting of them is Wat Ho Phra Keo. It was originally constructed in 1565 as the Lao royal family’s personal chapel, and as a home for the Emerald Buddha. This sacred jade statue was looted by the Siamese in 1778 and now sits in Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok.

 

 

 

That Luang

A symbol of Laos’ nationhood and the country's most sacred Buddhist monument, That Luang was built in the 16th century under the rule of King Setthathirat.

 

 

 

 

Buddha Park (Xieng Khuan)

24km south of Vientiane, Buddha Park is in a field near the Mekong River. The park, as its name would suggest, is littered with religious sculptures and was built in 1958 by the philosopher Bunleua Sulilat who famously combined Buddhist and Hindu philosophy, mythology and iconography.

 

 

 

That Dam

Known as the ‘Black Stupa', many locals believe this mythological structure was once inhabited by a seven-headed dragon (now dormant) that stood to protect the city from the threat of the Siamese. Another tale that does the rounds says that the gold that once graced the surface was taken when the Siamese army ransacked Vientiane back in 1828. Situated in the centre of the city, just past the US embassy, you will find one of Laos' oldest temples.

 

 

Patuxai

Patuxai (literally Victory Gate or Gate of Triumph), formerly the Anousavary or Anousavari Monument, is situated in the centre of Vientiane. Built between 1962 and 1968, the Laotians built it as a mark of respect for all those who fought in the struggle for independence from the French.

 

 

 

The Royal Palace Museum in Laung Prabang

The Royal Palace Museum in Laung Prabang (also known as “Haw Kham”) was once Laos' Royal Palace. It houses a lot of interesting historical items. Every item tells a story...so you will learn quite a lot about Lao history and about Laos' royal.  Built in 1904, it features a blend of Lao traditional and French style. It was built for King Sisavang Vong and his family during the French colonial era.

 

 

Nam Ngum Lake

The beautiful scenery around the Nam Ngum River and its green valley is enhanced by the presence of a vast, spectacular lake about 90 kilometres from Vientiane, direction Luang Prabang, generate electricity for much of the country and sold to Thailand. The area is very picturesque.

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