Vientiane Journals

Vientiane: the Second Sip

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A September 2006 trip to Vientiane by SeenThat

Travel Photo by IgoUgo memberMore Photos
Quote: Good coffee, golden pagodas, the romantic, slow-flowing Mekong River, and a charming mixture of cultures, more than justify returning to Vientiane.

Wat Ho Prha Keo (Wat Haw Pha Kaew)

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Attraction

Wat Ho Prha Keo (Wat Haw Pha Kaew) Photo, Vientiane, Laos
Quote:
SpellingLaos was a French colony and thus the spelling of most of its attractions was done first using the French spelling. That is the way it appears written at the monuments entrances. However, in recent years the English spelling is becoming more popular; this is a usual point of confusion while in Vientiane. For clarity, I am using the French spelling of this temple, the way it has been cemented down at its gate; the English spelling is: Wat Haw Pha KaewMeaningThe meaning of the name is less ambiguous than its spelling; it means the Hall of the Jewel Bu...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 30, 2007

Wat Ho Prha Keo (Wat Haw Pha Kaew)
Setthathirath Road
Vientiane

Wat Si Saket

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Attraction

Wat Si Saket Photo, Vientiane, Laos
Quote:
LocationWat Si Saket is just northwest of Wat Ho Prha Keo (Wat Haw Pha Kaew), on Lane Xang Road corner Setthathirath Road. The Lane Xang Avenue is the main one in Vientiane, connecting the government palace with Patuxai, thus the temple enjoys a central location in downtown Vientiane. The avenue’s name is related to the temple’s history – see the History section of this entry for details.The TempleDating back to 1818, Wat Si Saket is the oldest temple in Vientiane, and one of the only structures in the city to survive the Thai invasion of 1828. It was built in Siamese style. The Lao and Thai styles are quite similar, but the giveaway sign is the terrac...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 2, 2007

Wat Si Saket
Lane Xang Road
Vientiane, Laos

Talat Sao (Morning Market)

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Attraction | "Talat Sao – Vientiane's Morning Market"

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
After traveling for a long time in South East Asia, most morning markets blurred-up inside my mind into an archetypal one. That is, with the exception of two: the yellow dome over a crossed shaped structure of Phnom Penh’s Morning Market is as unforgettable as the green slanted roofs of Vientiane’s one. LocationVientiane’s Morning Market enjoys a superb location on Lane Xang Avenue; thus it is a natural stop while explorin...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 2, 2007

Talat Sao (Morning Market)
Lane Xang Avenue
Vientiane, Laos

That Dam (Black Stupa)

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Attraction | "That Dam (Black Stuppa)"

That Dam (Black Stupa) Photo, Vientiane, Laos
Quote:
The MonumentThe That Dam–or Black Stuppa–is one of the oldest structures in Vientiane, dating back to the 15th century. It is a classical Buddhist Stuppa, and its significance and strength are augmented by its humble size. It offers a sharp contrast to the That Luang (also in Vientiane – see separate entry) which is one of the biggest stuppas in the world.StuppasStuppas are designed to resemble the Buddha’s folded garments, inverted rice bowl, and walking stick arranged vertically, but they can also be interpreted as a symbol of the three different stages in the Buddhist spiritual development. The asymptotic approach of the temple to Nirvana at its top...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 2, 2007

That Dam (Black Stupa)
Chantha Khoumane Road
Vientiane, Laos

Patuxai Monument/Victory Gate

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Attraction | "Patuxai Arc: the Laotian Gate of Triumph"

Patuxai Monument/Victory Gate Photo, Vientiane, Laos
Quote:
One of the most obvious characteristics of Vientiane is the splendid mixture between local architecture and customs and the ones brought by the French during the colonial period. Nowhere is the syncretism more palpable than in the Patuxai Arc, which was nonetheless built much after the French left and became one of the main features of Vientiane.The NamePatuxai means, in Laotian, "Gate of Triumph", and is the last name awarded to the monument. Earlier it was named Anousavary Kao, which incongruously means the "Old Monument," despite it being built quite recen...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 3, 2007

Patuxai Monument/Victory Gate
End of the Grand Lang Xang Avenue
Vientiane, Laos
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