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Patuxai Monument in Vientiane.  <img src='http://www.guidegecko.com/images/spyglass1.png' align='texttop' /> Click for full image
Travel Guide > Asia > Laos > Viangchan Prefecture > Vientiane

Vientiane Sights & Attractions

  
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Vientiane is best viewed as a comfortable transit point for other places in Laos, or as a recuperative stop on the way out. It's a pleasant enough place, but generally, there is little reason to spend more than a day or two here.

Long trousers and sleeves are recommended when visiting a temple or official offices. Foreign women adopting the traditional long sarong (siin) are very appreciated.

Temples and Stupas

Some temples (indicated below) charge an entry fee of 2,000/5,000 Kip for Lao nationals and foreigners and are open 8AM to 4PM, with a noon to 1PM lunch break. The monks who don’t charge a fee will be grateful for a small donation in the box. 

Vientiane's most important festival, Bun That Luang, is held here in November on the night of the full moon. There are two temples beside That Luang. They are Wat That Luang Neua to the north and Wat That Luang Tai to the south, both presently being renovated.

Pha That Luang is one of rather few sights in Vientiane.  <span style='white-space:nowrap;'><img src='http://www.guidegecko.com/images/spyglass1.png' align='texttop' /> Click to enlarge</span>

There are many more temples all over the town, but it must be said that if you are out to admire temples, Luang Prabang is the place to go, not Vientiane.

Nearby Vientiane

Buddha Park near Vientiane.  <span style='white-space:nowrap;'><img src='http://www.guidegecko.com/images/spyglass1.png' align='texttop' /> Click to enlarge</span>
  • Buddha Park.
  • On the main road Thanon Thadeua, just before the access road to the Bridge branches off, is the National Ethnic Cultural Park where typical houses of various ethnic groups are on display, though only from the outside unless you happen to meet some kind of custodian who will be eager to unlock some of them and show the inside. 
  • There also are some statues of dinosaurs and a rather dismal looking small "zoo". Most times the only activity seems to be the kiosks where they sell soft drinks and chips, but there are said to be occasional cultural shows. 
  • Tour operators often take their guests here before or after a visit to the Buddha Park. Well, to have it in their brochures may serve to make those more impressive. It is not a place to go out of your way for, not as long as it is not made more attractive.
  • The project for the preservation of the old Vientiane Wall.

Activities

The magazine Paisai (What's On) is sometimes available at some shops and cafes such as the Scandinavian Bakery. Getting a current edition can be a challenge, but the listings are very detailed - films, music, festivals, etc.

Wat Si Saket is presumably Vientiane's oldest temple.  <span style='white-space:nowrap;'><img src='http://www.guidegecko.com/images/spyglass1.png' align='texttop' /> Click to enlarge</span>





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