Kaysone Phomvihane Museum

Top choice in Vientiane

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 of the cult of Kaysone, a cult he himself never encouraged.

The museum is impossible to miss, with its mega-sized bronze statue of Kaysone out front flanked by large sculptures in the Heroes of Socialism style, complete with members of various ethnic groups and a sportsman looking like Superman. The building is a stark contrast, too, and is filled with a remarkably complete collection of memorabilia of both Kaysone and the Party. These include a mock-up of Kaysone's childhood home in Savannakhet, his desk from the French school he attended at Ban Tai, and a model of a portion of 'Kaysone Cave' in Hua Phan Province, complete with revolver, binoculars, radio and other personal effects.

It's possible to cycle here or take any transport on Rte 13 south. Alternatively, a tuk-tuk will cost around 40,000K from the centre.