Vientiane, which is the capital of Laos, is on a bend of the Mekong River, at which point it forms the border with Thailand.
Main sight-seeings in Vientiane
Pha That Luang
Pha That Luang (The Great Stupa or Sacred Reliquary) is the most significant Laotian religious and national monument. It is situated on a hill about three miles north east of the center of Vientiane. The site was built as a place for people to worship and pray to idol, according to the book That Luang Viengchanh, recompiled by Kavi in 1999. The structure was renovated during the reign of King Saysetthathirath in the 16th century when the original site was covered with a larger stupa. From then on the monument took the name That Luang, or Grand Stupa.
24km south of Vientiane, Buddha Park is in a field near the Mekong River. As the name suggests, the park is littered with religious sculptures and was built in 1958 by the philosopher Bunleua Sulilat who famously combined Buddhist and Hindu philosophy, mythology and iconography. Beyond these the roof area has a superb panoramic view of the surrounding park and river.
This is an elegant, and majestic structure of King Setthathirat’s former royal temple, which housed the magical Emerald Buddha (pha kaew) after it was taken from Lanna (Chiang Mai). The present structure is a 1942 reconstruction of dubious provenance. The temple no longer operates and the interior has been turned into a small jumbled museum housing Buddha images; look out for the beautiful tall, lithe, long-armed Buddha in the hands-down “calling for rain” pose.
Wat Si Saket which locates in the corner of Thanon Lane Xang and Thanon Setthathirat, is the oldest temple with thousands of miniature Buddha statues. Built in 1818 by Chao Anou in the Bangkok style, it features over 6,840 remarkable Buddha images, made of wood, stone, silver and bronze. In the center of the courtyard, there is a five-tier-roofed sim (ordination hall) housing yet more Buddha niches and beautiful but fading murals of the Buddha’s past lives.