SIGHTS
VIENTIANE, LAOS

Area Code 021 US$1=10,825k 1B=262k, July 26, 2005

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Most of Vientiane's sights are spread around the town. Bicycle is the best way to get around. Rental costs about 4000+kip/day.
Many temples closed on Monday.

Photo: Buddha Park

S1 Wat Pha Kaew: (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) Setthathirat Rd. E of President Palace, in front of Wat Sisaket. Entry fee: 5,000kip 8:00-12 & 13:00-16 No Photography
Built in 16th C to house the Emerald Buddha, kept here until 1788, when it was taken by the Thais. It is now on display in the Royal Temple in Bangkok. The original building was destroyed in 1828 and rebuilt in 1936-42 (only the doors are from the original building). Houses a collection of Buddha statues from all over South-East Asia. The highlight of the collection is a copy of the
'Golden Pha Bang'. (The real one, Laos's most important national treasure, is stored in a bank. Not for public viewing) Amongst the treasures is the 'Atom Struck Tile', taken from a temple in Hiroshima, Japan that was destroyed by the atomic bomb, dropped on the city.
S2 Wat Sisaket: Lane Xang Rd + Setthathirat Rd. opp. from Wat Pha Kaew, Wat is free but the museum 5,000kip 8:00-12 & 13-16:00 The oldest original temple in Vientiane, built by King Anou in 1818. Houses more than 2,000 small Buddha statues, brought here by devotees. Highly Rec
S3 Presidential Palace: Deluxe white building in the open space, W & opposite from Wat Sisaket. It used to be a Palace but now is the official residence of the President. Closed.
S4 Anousavari Monument: The triumphal arch of Vientiane built in 1962. NE of Lane Xang Rd. Monument for the people who died in wars defending the country. It is possible to climb up the Monument 2,000kip 8:00-17:00
S5 That Luang: The holiest Stupa in Laos, 3km NE from center of the town along Lane Xang Rd. Built by King Settathirat in 1566. Very unique-shaped Stupa and the most important religious symbol of the country. 5,000kip 8-12, 13-16:00, Highly Rec
S6 Wat Ong Teu: Setthathirat Rd. + Chao Anou. 9-17:00 free The biggest temple in Vientiane.
S7 Wat Sokpaluang: Temple in the forest about 4km SE from the town. There is a famous herbal sauna & massage next to the Wat. 13:00-19:00(recommend to go after 15:00) Usually the fee is by donation but they have set prices for foreign visitors.
See the city info.
Access: Tuk-tuk 5,000-10,000kip.
S8 Lao National Museum: Samusenthai Rd. W from Lao Plaza Hotel 5000k 8-12, 13-16:00 A lot of propaganda.
S9 Cultural Hall: Samusenthai Rd. opp from the National Museum. Many program such as movies. See Vientiane Times.

Out of Town
 
There are several places to enjoy the natural scenery near Vientiane.
Xieng Khuan(Buddha Park) fee: 2,000kip camera/video 2,000kip(2001 info). 20km S from Vientiane near Thai border (Tha Deua). From B1 bus station take a bus #14(5:50-17:30) 3,000kip 1.5hr
The park houses a huge collection of bizarre Buddhist & Hindu statues. A similar park is on the other side of the border in Nong Khai.

Lao Pako Resort, (98 info)
Resort near the Nam Ngum river 50km E from Vientiane.
Pamphlets available everywhere in Vientiane. Relaxing, surrounded by nature. Good place for hiking, water sports, visiting Lao villages, etc.
Transport Take bus for Pakxap from Vientiane (leave at 6:30, 11:00, 15:00, 2,000kip?,  and get off at Som Sa Mai, take boat to Lao Pako. 3 people 4000kip. 1500kip/p
Accommodation: Log-house 45,000kip, bungalow 30,000kip, dr10,000kip, deck 4000kip- bring your own hammock.
INFO: contact to W Pfabigan, c/o Burapha 14 Tn Fa Ngoum. T216600
REPORT from visitors The nature and scenery is beautiful, but the management is profit-centered. Beer is twice the price in town - 4000kip.

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