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A scintillating place loaded with serenity at its best, Vientiane is positioned attractively on the banks of the Mekong River towards the border of Thailand. Vientiane attractions offer an ideal cultural blend of French colonial architecture on one side and Buddhist temples on the other end. The beauty of the city lies in its exotic sightseeing options, which makes sure that every visitor enjoys sparkling experience. Some of the top known sites to watch are Patuxai Victory Monument, Buddha Park, Wat Si Muang, Black Stupa, National History of Museum and many others.

 Artistically designed with five ornate flowers in traditional Laos’s style, this monument is worth watching for its distinctive style. In fact, it forms the central part of Patuxai Park and dedicated to the soldiers of Laos as they fought for independence from Frenchmen.

Known as one of the most famous places in Vientiane, it’s more than 200 religious statues, including a huge 40 meter reclining Buddha image.   

Here are the Best Vientiane Attractions:

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01

Buddha Park, Vientiane

Image Credit : roaming-the-planet
Buddha Park (aka Xieng Khuan) is a famous sculpture park with more than 200 religious statues including a huge 40-metre high reclining Buddha image. The best spot for photography here is on top of the giant pumpkin structure standing about three stories high. The entrance is crafted to look like a demon’s mouth (about three metres high) with a stone ladder inside leading to a bird's eye view of the entire Xieng Kuan Park.

The most outstanding ones include Indra, the king of Hindu gods riding the three-headed elephant (aka Erawan and Airavata), a four-armed deity sitting on a horse and an artistic deity with 12 faces and many hands, each holding interesting objects.


Highlights
– This explains why his park is full not only of Buddha images but also of Hindu gods as well as demons and animals from both beliefs.

Location
– Vientiane Capital

Opening Hours-
 8am to 4pm
02

Patuxai Victory Monument

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Image Credit : shankar s
With its crenellated upper level topped with five ornate towers in the traditional Laos style, the Patuxai Victory Monument cuts a distinctive figure on the Vientiane skyline. It forms the centre piece of Patuxai Park, and is dedicated to the Laos who were killed in the fight to gain independence from France, as well as from the nation’s earlier occupiers, Siam and Japan.

 Patuxai Victory Monument
Image Credits : William


Highlights
: Patuxai was built between 1957 and 1968 using funds from the U.S. government.

Opening Hours
: From 08:00 to 16:30 on Mondays to Fridays, and 08:00 to 17:00 on Saturdays and Sundays.

Location
: Patuxai is situated at the far end of Thanon Lane Xang in the government and diplomatic district. The monument sits on the large ‘island’ formed where the avenue splits into two, opposite the Ministry of Justice to the south and the Prime Minister’s office to the north.
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03

Houey Hong Vocational Training Centre for Women

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Image Credit : Theo Wright
Houey Hong Vocational Training Centre for Women was established originally to provide training in the art of weaving for Lao women from poor backgrounds. Over time, with funding from international non-governmental organizations, the training centre has expanded its scope to include minority ethnic groups and disabled folk. The Centre was founded by Japanese-educated Chanthasone Inthavong in 1998, and offers short courses in weaving, dyeing, sewing and small business administration.

Together with the job placement programme, it hopes to help generate income for people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Situated seven km from Vientiane city centre in a Houey Hong Village, Chanthabury District, the centre is surrounded by a pleasant garden.


Highlights
: The sporadic nature of its funding means that the centre has to support itself and it does so by selling crafts made on the premises and offering tailoring services.

Opening Hours
: Monday through Saturday 08:30 – 12:00, 13:30 - 16:30

Location
: Houey Hong Village, Chanthabury District
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04

Wat Si Muang

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Image Credit : Philip Roeland
Wat Si Muang is one of Vientiane’s most popular sites of worship, and offers a fascinating insight into how old animist beliefs have blended seamlessly with Theravada Buddhism. According to local legend, when the temple was being built in 1563 a young pregnant woman named Si Muang volunteered to sacrifice herself to appease the angry spirits.

During the That Luang Festival every October or November, this temple is one of the focal points of the celebrations, and Si Muang is fêted as a guardian of the city. On a daily basis, Wat Si Muang attracts crowds of local Buddhists who want to benefit from its ‘good luck’ powers.

Wat Si Muang
Image Credits : Philip Roeland


Highlights
– This temple is more interesting for its story than for its architecture.  

Location
: Wat Si Muang is located at the eastern end of Thanon Setthathirath, in the triangular area formed just before the street merges with Thanon Samsenthai and turns into Thanon Thadeua.

Opening Hours
: The temple is open from 06:00 to 19:00 every day
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05

Black Stupa (That Dam)

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Image Credit : Philip Roeland
That Dam, or black stupa, is located on a quiet roundabout not far from Talat Sao (the morning market) and the American Embassy. That in Laotian refers to an inverted bell shape (or unopened lotus flower) structure that usually contains relics of the Buddha. Legend has it that a seven-headed water serpent – a ‘Naga’ lived here to protect the stupa that was once covered in pure gold.

During the Siamese-Laotian war in the 1820s, the gold was pillaged and taken to Siam, now Thailand, leaving the legacy that is the black stupa today. 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.

Black Stupa (That Dam)
Image Credits : Prince Roy


Highlights
: 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.

Location
: Chantha Khoumane Road, Vientiane
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06

Visit the National History Museum

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Image Credit : Effervescing Elephant
The visit to the museum is a matter of great excitement and joy. There is a great admiration for all the exquisite and all the historical work of art presented by two of the masters of the scientific illustration. The journey is further excited as we are on to embark through space with an amazing photographic exhibition done by the great Michael Benson.

 Visit the National History Museum
Image Credits : Effervescing Elephant


There is an experience to remember for with the 3D reality of the virtual world exploring the coral reef, the largest in the world. The people should pass through the center for the stunning cocoon by Darwin. It is a day to be the scientists for a single day and thus exploring the science center.
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07

Lao People's Army Museum

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Image Credit : BRJ INC
The museum is situated in Vientiane in Laos, which is further located in the Defense Ministry on the Phomvihane road. This particular museum is said to establish in the year 1976. It is a house for all the important weapons and many such ancient tools and also contains the photographs of the army of the Lao People’s. These pictures were taken during the period starting from 1950 until the place was liberated and the people got independence leading to the establishment of their Democracy in the year of 1975.

 Lao People's Army Museum

There is an exhibition that takes place right outside the main building. The exhibition is on different war vehicles and planes used in the war. There is a statue of Lao leader which is one of the important figures of that place. The gallery consists of many such stories of the different soldiers. The journey should be done with the help of a bus that leads towards Dongdok.  
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08

Vientiane City Pillar Shrine

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Image Credit : Stefan Fussan
This new shrine was finished in the year of 2012, and the contractor handed it over to the Information Ministry of tourism and culture. This particular shrine is situated in the Phaiwat village in the Sisattanak district. The spot where it has been made into consisted of 473 fragments remains of the city stone pillar which was marked long back to the 5th or 4th century and was buried along with other remains.

 Vientiane City Pillar Shrine
Image Credits : Philip Roeland


The main reason behind the construction was to preserve the old heritage and the other artifacts remains which were believed by the foreign travelers to be belonging to the city of Vientiane. There are many activities done there which includes certain religious ceremony and some traditional celebrations. The valued items are said to be placed on the pillar, and many worshipers tend to donate special items. They in return get all the good luck blessings in the form of items such as holy books, Buddha statues, etc.
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09

Wat Chan

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To view Thailand in a completely new way, one needs to go through all the unseen and unvisited places in Thailand such as a four-hour long drive to a place called Ban Wat Chan. This place is situated in the opposite side of the border. This place is not that famous as other places situated nearby such as Pai. If we are to judge from other’s point of view, it can be said that this place is the most amazing thing, and the college students are yet to explore them for the small beautiful mountains present.

 Wat Chan
Image Credits : Philip Roeland


It can be said that Wan Chan is the situated in the most ancient and isolated location. But with the beautiful environment there that has been untouched and unharmed by any. The roads are beautifully curved and are unused by any.
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10

Vat that Khao

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This place is situated right beside a place called Vat That Luang which is believed to be the most sacred and believed place in Lao. The place called Luang was established in the 300bc and is believed to be the most sacred as it contain the sacred relic in the form of Buddha’s breastbone. That Khao is believed to be a beautiful and splendid reclining in the form of biggest Buddha situated in the Lao. It is however thought of as big as the Wat Pho which is located in the Bangkok.

 Vat that Khao

However as in Thailand where there are many places of tourist attraction and that almost attracts the tourists towards them, this place is devoid of such tourist attraction. This place is famous for its Buddhist temple and is located across the road in place called Royal Park. Tourists are said to be attracted towards this place because of the Buddhist temple that are situated right there and is famous for it only.
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11

Ho Pra Keo

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This is also written in many different ways like Haw Phra Kaew or Hoe Pha Keo and others. This was formally a temple in the Vientiane in Laos. It is located on the Setthathirath road which is further situated in the south east of the Wat Si Saket. This was first built in the year 1565 to create a house for the Buddha. This has however been built up many a times. The inner part has been converted into a museum which is famous for all the religious and other activities.

Ho Pra Keo
Image Credits : simply_lydie


As the king moved the capital to Vientiane, this place was built. This was placed on the soil of the royalty. This was a place for a personal worship of the king and was not the house for any monks as we can see in other places. The great statue of Buddha is present there for the past 200 years. It was in the year 1779 that it was captured and the temple was destroyed.
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12

The Presidential Palace

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The presidential palace is often another name for the residence officially booked for the presidents in different countries. In some countries, however, they are not called by that name. The buildings there are only used to do all the official work and not just for the resident of the president. Some palaces are official residents given to the monarchs who were preserved during the transformation into republics.

The Presidential Palace
Image Credits : David McKelvey


The owner of Phil and Diane opened a Presidential palace before being a celebrity photographer. The palace is said to consist of the biggest and largest dance floor and is said to accommodate more than 500 people. However to talk about only Presidential palace which is situated in almost all the countries are equally famous and beautifully created. It is often the workplace for the Presidents. They are differently arranged in different countries to suit the need of a different president.
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13

Wat Mixay

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Image Credit : Benjamin Lyons
The rooms at the modern-looking guesthouse are all air-con, come with a small cable TV, tile floor, hard spring mattress, some furniture and clean but teeny-tiny hot water bathrooms that could be the dictionary definition of “water closet”. This is a solid budget hotel with a more modern feel and English-speaking reception, which you don’t often get in this price range.

We like the upper floors since they feel removed from the city busyness and some rooms, like #384, have two sets of windows. The owners are a friendly mob and there’s free WiFi in each room. It’s located right on a bustling corner, across from Wat Mixay, and the lobby has an attached cafe that’s a decent spot for emails and fruit shakes. With breakfast included in the tariff, this place is recommended.

Wat Mixay
Image Credits : Stefan Fussan


Highlights : One of the many Buddhist temples along Setthathilath Road in Vientiane, Laos.

Location : Vientiane , Laos

Opening Hours: 9am to 5pm
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14

Lao Textile Museum

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Image Credit : University of Hawaii System
Underneath the raised house there are old looms and antique spinners that you would not find in use anywhere today. Upstairs, textiles are hung on the walls or are simply stacked in cupboards. The collection has some stunning pieces, with several made by different ethnic minority groups. Unfortunately, the textiles don’t have proper storage or display conditions and many of them are deteriorating.

There is also a studio where they produce silk pieces for their shop and a glossy cultural education centre with professional displays on natural dyes and indigo pots (clearly there has been NGO funding and involvement). The educational centre is largely used as a showroom for large tour groups and it isn’t an active, working, living craft centre you can just drop in on.

Lao Textile Museum
Image Credits : University of Hawaii System


Highlights
– The museum also offers Lao cooking classes, although these didn't yet appear to be up and running during our visit, and on Saturdays, lessons on traditional Lao mus

Location
– Vientiane , Laos

Prices
: Admission 30,000K

Opening Hours
: 10am to 4pm
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15

Lao Herbal Steam Sauna And Massage

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Image Credit : Stephen Bugno
Spas and massage shops are in plentiful supply in Vientiane, offering something for every budget. But for something more memorable, take the three kilometre trip out of the centre to Wat Sok Pa Luang, and down a path to the side of the temple you will find a rickety old jungle house offering Lao massage and traditional herbal spa; a hand-painted sign points the way.

The traditional massage and herbal sauna experience at Wat Sok Pa Luang isn’t for everyone as the facilities are basic, on the other end of the spectrum to a fancy hotel spa treatment, without the sycophantic staff or exclusiveness. But what you do get is the most authentic experience, with true Laotian hospitality and massage beds so close to the forest you can reach out and touch it.

 Lao Herbal Steam Sauna And Massage
Image Credits : David McKelvey


Highlights
– Herbal Steaming, Lao Traditional Massage

Opening Hours
: 13:00-20:00 daily

Address
: Sok Pa Luang Road

Price Range
: Massage - 35,000kip ($US4) Sauna - 15,000kip ($US1.5)
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