Just 16 kilometers outside of Vientiane situated on the banks of the Mekong is the agricultural city of Ban Hom. A day trip might involve taking a wander around the preserved temples before visiting a primary school or watching a weaving demonstration, where the process of fabric making is laid bare. This day is really about getting to grips with authentic Laos culture, with everything from school presentations to observing traditional farming and fishing methods on the itinerary.
Laos National Cultural Hall
Built by the Chinese in the 1990’s, as a gift to the Laos people, the building is not the most attractive Vientiane has known. Occasionally French cinema and Lao classical dance events are held here within the hall, although it is difficult to access information to find out exactly when. Those interested should keep an eye on the Vientiane Times.
Buddha Park (Xieng Khuan)
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 Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily from 08:00 – 18:00
- Location: About 25 kilometres southeast of Vientiane, along the Mekong River
- How to get there: The Buddha Park can be reached by public bus or tuk tuk
Patuxai Victory Monument in Vientiane
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 centrepiece 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 Read More...
- 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.
- How to get there: Vientiane is such a small city that it is easy to get around on foot, by bicycle, or by tuk-tuk. To get to Patuxai, head north-east from the Presidential Palace near the river and follow Thanon Lane Xang for five blocks until you see the imposing sight of the Patuxai arch.