Pha That Luang – the great golden stupa in Vientiane
Located about 3km northeast of the city center, the Pha That Luang is a symbol of Buddhist religion and Lao sovereignty. Built in 1566, destroyed in 1827, and rebuilt in the 1930s, this Buddhist monument is a huge 3-level Buddhist Stupa of 45 meters in height and 69 meters in width surrounded by a large Buddhist convention hall with tiny windows and 30 small stupas. What sets the Pha That Luang apart from other Buddhist monuments in Laos? It is its pyramidal shape, its covering made of over 500kgs of gold leaf, its 3 levels – which symbolize the ascent from the Earth to the sky, and a relic of the Buddha enshrined.
What would your Vientiane holiday be without its symbolic Pha That Luang – one of the best architectural works of Buddhism around the world?
Wat Si Saket – the oldest temple in Vientiane
Built in the year 1818 by mandate of King Anouvong and completed in 1824, the Wat Si Saket, which is one of the richest Laotian monasteries in terms of religion and tradition, is among the most frequented tourist destinations in Laos.
The Wat Si Saket is often known as the oldest surviving temple in Vientiane – the only temple to preserve its original form after the Sobrevio invasion of the Siamese army in 1828. But the truth is that there is simply so much to see there so that you should keep it on your bucket list for a travel to Laos. In spite of following Siamese style of Buddhist architecture rather than Lao style, it is still an excellent architectural example mixture of Thai and Laotian. What is Wat Si Saket famous for? It must be its charming daily ceremony, its cloister wall housing almost 7,000 of tiny Buddha images and rows with hundreds of seated Buddhas in various mudras, and over 10,000 Buddha images housed in the sim and surrounding galleries – which have been turned into a museum.
Haw Phra Kaew – the Black Stupa- the city’s guardian spirit
Getting its name from the Emerald Buddha that was stolen from Thailand and enshrined here until 1779, Haw Phra Kaew is thought to be one of the most beautiful and impressive temples in Vientiane.
To learn about Laotian history, culture, and spirituality, you might need half a lifetime. But a short visit to the That Dam Stupa in the center of a roundabout in Vientiane, which is considered as the city’s guardian spirit will really give you an idea of how brave it would have been to protect the city from the threat of the Siamese. Expect these 18th-century bronze Buddha images, anciently inscribed steles and other artifacts in this crumbling and weather-worn That Dam.
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Victory Monument or Patuxai – a beloved fixture of the Vientiane’s modest skyline
Victory Monument or Patuxai – a beloved fixture of the Vientiane’s modest skyline-source: Bách khoa toàn thư mở
A standard entry on a list of Vientiane’ top tourist attractions, I think the Victory Monument deserves to be here every time. What is a reminiscent of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris but with Laotian characteristics is now a beloved and irreplaceable fixture of the Vientiane’s modest skyline? Built by cement donated by the US government that was originally designated for a new airport, Patuxai has earned it the nickname of “the “vertical runway”. The Victory Monument impresses travelers by the tower’s monumental structure and the breathtaking 360-degree views of Vientiane from its top.
Buddha Park – home to more than 200 elaborately designed religious statues and sculptures
Nestled on the banks of the Mekong River, just about 15 miles from the city center, Buddha Park gains its recognition for its amazing collection of Buddhist and Hindu statues including a huge 40-meter (131-foot) high reclining Buddha image. Am Phu cave built in the shape of huge pumpkin depicting Hell, Earth, and Heaven, whose entrance is shaped like a demon’s mouth, is another impressive art architecture work that you should not miss.
Vientiane is Laos’s leading tourist destination, and not surprisingly as such, it is a capital city that is packed full of fantastic attractions to visit: a great number of Buddhist temples, historic monuments, and other sites. Why do you still hesitate to go on Laos tours?
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