It is difficult to believe that Vientiane is a capital city because it is so small. But it has lots of old temples, many French buildings which still remain beautiful and lots of trees along the streets. There are also lots of streets which need to be improved but they seem to be doing that right now.
It's very beautiful along the Mekong river where most of the hotels, guest houses and restaurants stand but this is also the worst part for walking because the road is really bad. We drove around Vientiane by motorbike and talked to many monks and they speak quite good English. They gave us a lot of good information about how Laos monks live, the standard of living here and how they are educated.
We went to a Vietnamese noodle soup where people speak both Vietnamese and Lao, my friends ordered small and big bowl but I ordered Jumbo which means huge size with all ingredients. The noodles were great and it made my day. Our journey started by going to the bank and changing money from USD to Kip, the local currency ($1=K10,000.) Laos currencies are all in notes and some of them look really old and it can be quite fragile if you treat it hard :)
We went to That Luang (the great Sacred Stupa), built in 1566 by Saysetthairath, "is said to contain relics of the Lord Buddha himself and is the country's most cherished religious monument". This is an amazing place with a golden colour and lots of dismembered buddhas and it's a bit scarey for me but I think this is a good place to visit beside many others.
On the way to That Luang, we stopped at Patuxay(Victory Gate), this gate located on Lanexang Avenue and it was built in 1960 to commemorate those who died in past wars. It looks great with a French style and opens for visiting from 8am to 5Pm daily.
On the way back, we went to Wat Sisaket temple. This temple is located in the center of the old city and was built in 1818 by King Anouvong and is Vientiane's oldest remaining temple having survived the destruction of the city by Siamese in 1828. This is the place you must go when you are in Vientiane.
To be continued
Labels: Laos, Travel, Travel Abroad, Vientiane