Vientiane is Laos’ capital city, and yet it is far different from all other national hubs. Instead of booming with trade and industry, Vientiane’s streets bloom with lovely bougainvillea flowers. No high business buildings paint its cityscape either; only temples and crumbling mansions rise to greet the horizon. Barely touched by modernity, Vientiane maintains its old rustic atmosphere.
Lost in the hands of time, Vientiane boasts of its rich historical grounds and magnificent architecture. One example is Buddha Park, a sculpture park that concretizes the people’s faith and shows off their beliefs. With over 200 religious statues, including a massive reclining Buddha image, the park is frequented by both local tourists and foreign visitors. Built in 1958 by a monk, it also features Hindu gods and other creatures from both Hinduism and Buddhism.
Vientiane is full of beautiful temples and monuments. A few that you shouldn’t miss seeing are the famous That Luang and That Dam temples.
Another temple you should definitely visit is the Wat Si Saket. Thousands of Buddha images are housed in its walls, many dating back to the 16th and 19th centuries. Made from wood, stone, and bronze, these statues have survived the tests of time, war, and weather. The structure itself is a real treasure, with beautiful interior walls that are almost 300 years old.
Enter the gates of ancient culture and relive the untold history of the Laotians. Be swept away by the splendor of your surroundings, and feel the embrace of the wind that carries you. Be enthralled, be captivated. Drown in the grandeur that looms before your very eyes.
This is Luang Prabang, and the magic is just the beginning.
Considered a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, this little town of majestic terrains is a perfect stop for a taste of real Asian travel. Once the royal capital of a Laotian kingdom, Luang Prabang continues to emanate the kind of radiance only felt in the presence of a monarch. Its old and crumbling colonial architecture, glimmering Buddhist temples, and untamed natural wonders will leave you in awe of everything that is around you.
Swim to your heart’s content in the creamy waters of the great Mekong River, and sail your way up to the bend after. If you prefer climbing, then explore the forested peaks that envelope the area. Take the chance to look at the beautiful Luang Prabang from a whole new different angle.
One important thing you absolutely shouldn’t miss when you go to Luang Prabang is the Royal Palace or Haw Kham. Now a museum, it was built in 1904 during the French occupation for King Sisayang Vong and his family.
Kept within the regal halls of this building are precious possessions of the said king and his descendants. A three-headed elephant housed by the royal parasol will welcome you as you enter the palace doors.
A majestic room called the Throne Hall will dazzle you with its mosaics and mirrors, swords, and other royal regalia.
The most sacred image in Laos is also kept here: the Pha Bang, a golden Buddha image believed to have been made in heaven. It is said to have miraculous powers that keep the country safe and secure.
Located in Southern Laos, the Bolaven Plateau is known for its picturesque setting, cool climate, and several ethnic villages. With fertile soil, it remains to be in a beautiful shade of green almost the whole year round.
The Bolaven Plateau is home to some of Asia’s best waterfalls. The Taat Fang and Tad Fane, for example, give a dramatic yet comforting feel. The view of cascading waters will ultimately make your heart skip a bit.
Coffee and tea plantations can also be found in the area. Blending with the fresh highland air, the coffee aroma will stimulate your senses as you roam around the greeneries. For a more meaningful travel, take your plantation visit as an opportunity to learn about the Bolaven Plateau from the locals, especially from the farmers who toil in the lush farmlands.