Architectural, Cultural sights in Laos
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Opened in 1995 to celebrate the late president’s 75th birthday, the Kaysone Phomvihane Memorial, near Km 6 on Rte 13 south, serves as a tribute to Indochina’s most pragmatic communist leader. The memorial is actually two jarringly different sites. Kaysone’s old house is a model of modesty suggesting he might have lived in less luxury than any other world leader. In contrast the museum is a vast Vietnamese-style celebration of the cult of Kaysone, a cult he never encouraged. Visit the house first.
A Unesco-sponsored exhibit and information centre that occupies an old wooden Lao house on teak pillars in Ban Xieng Muan. Other than the very impressive wood and colombage (bamboo lattice daubed with natural mortar) house itself, there is little to take in here. Occasional weaving demonstrations are held in the house.
Wat Choumkhong is a small but very pretty temple with one of the loveliest gardens in town. In November and December it's awash with colour courtesy of poinsettia trees.