Must-see attractions in Vientiane

  • Top Choice
    COPE Visitor Centre

    Laos has the dubious distinction of being the most bombed country on earth, and although the American War in neighbouring Vietnam ended more than 40 years…

  • Top Choice
    Pha That Luang

    Svelte and golden Pha That Luang, located about 4km northeast of the city centre, is the most important national monument in Laos – a symbol of Buddhist…

  • Top Choice
    Xieng Khuan

    Located 25km southeast of central Vientiane, eccentric Xieng Khuan, aka Buddha Park, thrills with other-worldly Buddhist and Hindu sculptures, and was…

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    Top Choice
    Kaysone Phomvihane Memorial

    The former home of Kaysone Phomvihane, the first leader of an independent Laos, has been made into this quirky but worthwhile museum.

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    Top Choice
    Wat Si Saket

    Built between 1819 and 1824 by Chao Anou, the last monarch of the Kingdom of Vientiane, Wat Si Saket is believed to be the city's oldest surviving wat…

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    Top Choice
    Kaysone Phomvihane Museum

    Opened in 1995 to celebrate the late president's 75th birthday, the Kaysone Phomvihane Museum serves as a tribute to Indochina's most pragmatic communist…

  • Wat Si Muang

    The most frequently used grounds in Vientiane are those of Wat Si Muang, the site of the lák méuang (city pillar), which is considered the home of the…

  • Patuxai

    Vientiane's Arc de Triomphe replica is a slightly incongruous sight, dominating the commercial district around Rue Lan Xang. Officially called 'Victory…

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    Lao Textile Museum

    What began as a private museum, established by the family that runs Kanchana Boutique, has subsequently become something of a Lao cultural centre. The…

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    Wat Chanthabuli

    This beautiful riverside wat was built in the 16th century, destroyed during the Siamese invasion of 1828 and later fully restored to its present glory…

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    Wat Ong Teu Mahawihan

    This temple is one of the most important in Laos. It was originally built in the mid-16th century by King Setthathirat and is believed to occupy a site…

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    That Dam

    That Dam sits on a quiet roundabout near the centre of Vientiane. Legend has it that this stupa was once coated in a layer of gold. The gold is said to…

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    Haw Pha Kaeo

    Once a royal temple built specifically to house the famed Emerald Buddha, Haw Pha Kaeo is today a rather dusty, lacklustre national museum of religious…

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    Presidential Palace

    It's not possible to go inside the Presidential Palace, as unsurprisingly it is reserved for the president and government officials. It is, however, a…

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    Wat In Paeng

    Wat In Paeng is famed for the artistry displayed in the stucco relief of the sǐm (ordination hall), but sees fewer visitors than its neighbouring temples…

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    Wat Mixai

    One of a cluster of temples on the main drag, known for its Bangkok-style sǐm (ordination hall) and heavy gates, which are flanked by two nyak (guardian…

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    Sacred Heart Cathedral

    Also known as Vientiane Cathedral, this is the spiritual home of Catholicism in Laos, built during the French colonial period in 1928.

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    Lao National Culture Hall

    Huge government building that occasionally plays host to government-approved dance or musical performances.

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    Wat Xieng Nyean

    This centrally located temple has a convenient entrance on Rue Fa Ngoum, the riverfront road.

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    Wat Haysoke

    A Buddhist temple in the heart of the city.