Once the capital of Lane Xang, in the latter years of that empire's greatness, Vientiane was devastated many times by foreign invaders, before finally being levelled by the Siamese in 1828. The only original monument to remain from before that time is Wat Sisaket, built in 1818 by Chao Anou - the very king responsible for incurring the wrath of the Siamese and causing his capital's obliteration.
When the French took control of the country in the late 19th century, they set about totally re-designing it with the same style as the magnificent Indochinese capitals of Saigon and Phnom Penh. The wide boulevards lend themselves nicely to monuments of a grand scale, and one such is the Patouxai war memorial. It was decided in the late fifties that Lane Xang Avenue - dubbed the Champs Elysees of Vientiane - should be crowned with its own version of the Arc de Triomphe (Patouxai is Lao for Gateway of Victory).
No account of Vientiane would be complete without mention of the Lao Revolutionary Museum, a monument to Laos' long struggle to free itself from colonization. The museum contains such relics as the photograph of Thit Chanto, who is shown baring his chest in defiance and waving above his head the rifle he used to shoot down an American fighter-bomber, which can be seen burning in the background. Though perhaps a little anachronistic in these post-Glasnost days, the museum itself is another sign of this city's sense of humour - for it is housed within the former residence of the French colonial governor.
Vientiane, the largest city in the country, is the National capital of Laos. It is located on the bank of the Mekong River which is also a natural border with Thailand. It is the political and economic center of the country with the population of 500,000. The city's exotic Eurasian setting fascinates most travelers. The confluence of several cultures has given Vientiane an appealing ambience. Tree-lined boulevards, French historical dwellings and Buddhists temples dominate the scene of central Vientiane and impart a unique character of timelessness.
Vientiane city is covered by Vientiane province. In Vientiane province, most people in are farmers. Agricultural is the major income of the province. Vientiane is now a dynamic tourism site for tourists who enjoy Laos travel and intend to take part in Laos tours for their Laos holidays.
That Luang, the great stupa of nation. The monument of king Sayasetthathirat who found Vientiane as the Capital of Lanexang kingdom is installed in front of the stupa is painted of golden color. One part of the Lord Buddha bones is kept for worshipping. The Buddhist festival is annually performed in the full moon of the twelve-month of lunar calendar. Vientiane's That Luang stupa is the most impressive and biggest stupa in Lao, featured on the Lao insignia. King Setthathirat constructed this stupa in 1566. The Siamese damaged it badly during their invasion in 1828, but it was restored in the 1936s. In mid-November, religious rites as well as a fair are held here during the That Luang festival. It has been said that if you do not visit Thaat Luang you do not arrive Laos yet. This is a must place to visit.
Ho Phrakeo is the Emerald Buddha image temple. It was kept hares sa the symbol of Lanexang kingdom for more than 200 year. This temple is beautiful and maintained its former designed. Many bronze Buddha images and historical artifacts are being for show.Wat Phrakeo still displays some of the finest Buddha sculptures found in the country.
Vang Vieng - about 152 kilometer from the city of Vientiane. breathtaking limestone formations nestle along the Song River. It lies in the foothills of the mountains of Northern Laos, on the banks of the Song river. The temperature there is a bit cooler than in Vientiane with a magnificent natural environment. The rocks are honeycombed with numerous caves, the most famous of which is Tham Jang. Foot can reach many of these caves from Vangvieng. If you want some adventure you can float on a tube along the Nam Song river to feel the unspoiled nature around the river. Catching the sun set is a must when you visit Vang Vieng. There are daily buses taking tourists from Vientiane to Vang Vieng and vice versa.
It might also be interested to watch the locals felling underwater teak trees area was inundated.
This fun and funky sculpture garden full of Buddhist and Hindu imagery is one of the more unusual attractions in Vientiane, and certainly worth a visit. The diversity of the statues is fascinating with images ranging from demons devouring damsels to a massive reclining Buddha, which has become a popular photo stop. Some of the larger sculptures can be climbed, and on clear day you can see across the Mekong to Thailand. The park is located about 24kms south of the city.
Wat Ong Teu is one of the most famous temples in Vientiane. This particularly auspicious Buddhist temple is named after the massive bronze Buddha image located inside. The four surrounding temples help to create a tranquil atmosphere, making it a suitable place of residence for the Patriarch of Lao Buddhism, who lives here. Many monks come to Ong Teu to study and it is an ideal site for chatting with novices. The temple is located at the intersection of Chau Anou and Setthathirat roads.
Built in 1818, Si Saket was the only temple in Vientiane not to be razed by the Siamese in 1828 - perhaps due to its Thai style of design. It was formerly called Wat Sene. Many ancient artifacts could be studied. More than 10,000 Buddha images of myriad style and size fill every spare inch of space in the outer courtyard, providing hours of exploration and contemplation. The murals covering the temple walls are also some of the finest in the city.
King Setthathirat also constructed Wat Phra Keo. It was rebuilt after the Siamese razed it during the Siamese-Lao war of 1828. The building had housed the Emerald Buddha until it was taken to Bangkok following a skirmish with the Lao in 1778.
Patuxai - also known as Anousavali or The Old Army Museum is now called the victory gate. Its architecture is inspired by the Arc de Triumph in Paris incorporated with traditional Lao design and sculpture. On the ceiling the goodness artifacts made by Lao artist are very pleasant to see and you can climb up to the top to get a panoramic view of the city of Vientiane.
Morning Market (Talat Sao) - this is the main shopping place in Vientiane. There are a variety of goods and local products with reasonable prices. You can buy Lao designed and handmade souvenirs such as textiles, Lao skirts (sinh), handicraft, jewelry and antiques. Open hour is from 07.00-16.00.Accommodation place situated around the fountains and close to the presidential office can be managed the check in and the afford prices. Get another shopping experience by go to Talat Sao and shop till you drop.
National Ethnic Cultural Park - also known as Suan Vatthanatham in Lao, is located 20 kilometers from Vientiane. In this one place you can see the lifestyle of all the ethnic groups in Laos, their homes, a small zoo and a good view of the Friendship bridge linking Laos and Thailand. There are a number of riverside bars and restaurant so sit back, relax and enjoy the day at Suan Vatthanatham.
The Nam Ngum reservoir located 90 km north of Vientiane municipality, a huge artificial lake created as part of a hydroelectric scheme. The lake is dotted with hundreds of picturesque islands, which can be explored by cruising around in small boats. Vientiane province offers impressive scenery.
The electricity station of Nam Ngum Dam produces electricity for Vientiane municipality and other provinces including Lao neighboring countries. In 1998-1999, the total of industrial exports reached US$271.9 million. The electricity earned US$57.1 million which came to the third of all exports.