A visit to Vientiane reveals the country’s past in some of the extraordinary sights you will see. Some of the most famous Vientiane attractions they are monuments to the past that are both tragic in their symbolism and uplifting to show the quiet determination of the Lao people to keep moving forward.
But some of them are just majestic because of the stunning visuals they present to the visitor. A day or two spent visiting these beautiful Vientiane attractions will leave you with a sense of respect and admiration for the people of Laos.
City of Stunning Architecture
Just taking a cab ride around the city is enough to make you realize that you need to spend more time in this city to appreciate these attractions up close. From ancient and imposing Buddhist temples and stupas to the government memorial honoring the people of Laos who sacrificed their lives for their country, Vientiane is a city that has great value in its architectural treasures. Even the most beautiful houses, businesses and French-colonial office buildings remind one of the struggles of Laos to remain free from foreign occupation.
Set in a peaceful tropical garden, the Patuxai monument, or Victory Gate, faces the presidential palace across Lang Xang Avenue. The construction was completed in 1968 and commemorates all the soldiers of Laos who fought against the French to free the country from the occupation. Visitors can climb to the top of the monument for a modest fee and enjoy a view of the park and surrounding area.
COPE Visitor Center
Cope Visitor Center exposes the dark history of Laos during the Lao Civil War. It also serves as an illustration of the long-term effect of the bombs and land mines that once plagued the country.
COPE, to this day, continues to provide rehabilitation and artificial limbs to people who continue to suffer from unexploded ordinance in the country.
Pha That Luang
Buddha’s chest is said to be buried in this imposing golden stupa in the middle of the city. Originally dating from 300 AD, this Vientiane attraction has undergone many restorations over the years and is a national symbol that all Laos recognize. It is one of the most photographed attractions in the city.
Every year in November, three days of religious rites are held, followed by a week-long festival around the stupa that attracts Buddhist worshipers from all over the country.
One of Vientiane’s strangest and most whimsical attractions has to be Buddha Park. The park contains many strange and creative statues that must be seen to be fully appreciated. The statues were created by one person, a priest, shaman, and artist named Luang Pu Bunleua Sililat, starting in 1958. The park itself is a verdant green lush space, overgrown that perfectly showcases the statues on display.
The park has become one of the most loved attractions in Vientiane by both tourists and locals.
Vientiane night market
No description of the attractions of Vientiane would be complete without mentioning the Vientiane Night Market. This attraction is one of the attractions you must see when you visit the city. Located right along a promenade next to the Mekong River, the market is the place to sample the best street food in the city while wandering among the stalls offering clothing, authentic Lao handicrafts, textiles woven silk and souvenirs.
It is a meeting place for both tourists and city residents, and the perfect way to end a day of sightseeing in Vientiane.