Top ChoiceMuseum in Vientiane

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.The house is inside the former USAID/CIA compound, known as 'Six Klicks City'...

Top ChoiceBuddhist Temple in Vientiane

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. And it is starting to show, as this beautiful temple is in...

Top ChoiceCultural Centre in Vientiane

COPE Visitor Centre

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 ago, unexploded ordnance (UXO) continues to wound and...

Top ChoiceBuddhist Stupa in Vientiane

Pha That Luang

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 religion and Lao sovereignty. Legend has it that Ashokan...

Top ChoiceMuseum in Vientiane

Xieng Khuan

Xieng Khuan

Located 25km southeast of central Vientiane, eccentric Xieng Khuan, aka Buddha Park, thrills with other-worldly Buddhist and Hindu sculptures, and was designed and built in 1958 by Luang Pu, a yogi-priest-shaman...

Top ChoiceMuseum in Vientiane

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 leader. The museum is a vast Vietnamese-style celebration...

Buddhist Temple in Vientiane

Wat Si Muang

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 guardian spirit of Vientiane. The large sǐm (ordination hall;...

Museum in Vientiane

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 emphasis at this leafy compound, spread across several...

Monument in Vientiane

Patuxai

Patuxai

Vientiane's Arc de Triomphe replica is a slightly incongruous sight, dominating the commercial district around Rue Lan Xang. Officially called 'Victory Gate' and commemorating the Lao who died in prerevolutionary...

Buddhist Temple in Vientiane

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. It's notable for its enormous bronze seated Buddha.

Buddhist Temple in Vientiane

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 first used for religious purposes in the 3rd century....

Monument in Vientiane

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 have been carted off by the Siamese during their pillaging...

Museum in Vientiane

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 art. It is across the street from the entrance to Wat Si...

Palace in Vientiane

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 decadent example of French colonial-era architecture and you...

Buddhist Temple in Vientiane

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 on Th Setthathirath.

Buddhist Temple in Vientiane

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 giants).

Cathedral in Vientiane

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.

Buddhist Temple in Vientiane

Wat Xieng Nyean

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