Laos, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, borders Myanmar, China, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. Vientiane is the capital city.
Canadians require a tourist visa and I got mine upon arrival at the airport. A quick, painless process.
I wandered around and enjoyed the sites, the people and the atmosphere. I walked with a man from China for a while and we seemed to be seeing the same sites.
There didn’t seem to be a lot of tourists about and sometimes I was the only person at a landmark. Canada’s travel advisory is “Exercise a high degree of caution”, the same as the UK and France. I don’t place a lot of value into these advisories.
An interesting note is that sticky rice is thought to have originated in Laos.
King Anouvong Statue
Located in Chao Anouvong Park, this statue is of King Anouvong, the last King of the Lao Kingdom of Vientiane who reigned from 1805 to 1828. The park is beside the Mekong River.
This is the official residence of the President of Laos who is also the General Secretary of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party. It is located on the banks of the Mekong River and not open to the public.
Ho Pha Keo
Ho Pha Keo is a former Buddhist shrine dating back to 1565 and is now a museum. The museum is decorated with carved wooden features, a 16th-century lacquered door with Hindu carvings and a collection of Khmer stone sculptures.
Wat Si Saket
The Wat Si Saket was built in 1820 by King Anouvong. It is now a museum and houses over 10,000 images of the Buddha in various mudras.
This gentleman doing the drawings allowed me to take a picture. He is 72 years old and has been a fine arts teacher for 52 years. Very interesting man!
The Patuxai Arch is a war monument built between 1957 and 1968. The Patuxai was dedicated to the memory of the Laotian soldiers who died during World War II and the independence war from France in 1949.
There are nice views of Vientiane from the top of the tower.
Pha That Luang
Pha That Luang, the most sacred monument in Laos, is said to house the breastbone of Buddha. The foundations date to the 3rd century and this current temple was built in 1566. It is 45m high and the pinnacle is covered in gold. The Reclining Buddha is on the grounds and stunning!
Outside of Vientiane, there is a park with over 200 Hindu and Buddhist statues. It’s very beautiful to stroll through looking at the different statues. There were a lot of butterflies!
There is a giant pumpkin and you enter at the bottom through a demon head. There are 3 levels representing Hell, Earth and Heaven. The entire park can be viewed from the top.
There is also a 40m long reclining Buddha.
I stumbled upon a Lebanese restaurant, Chez Joseph, and had the best hummus I’ve ever had! The owner was so kind and even produced a Coke Zero for me even though they were out. I couldn’t finish my meal and he boxed up the leftovers for me to take with me. I definitely recommend this place!
I saw what was left of a Starbucks during a tuk tuk ride and it was closed down. The Hard Rock Cafe was on my google maps so I went to get Bryan’s T-shirt. Sadly, it was closed down as well.
While driving down the road I saw a Hard Rock Shop, very small and dropped a pin so I could find it again. I did manage to get Bryan a T-shirt.
Out and About
I seem to have caught a cold. In addition to always being a hot, sweaty mess, I’m constantly blowing my nose, so I’m a hot, sweaty, snotty mess now!
The messed up tan lines deepen. I’ll still have them next summer.
There are many beautiful sites to see in Vientiane and worth a visit if you’re in this region.
Next country ~ Vietnam 🇻🇳