A short flight takes you from Luang Prabang to the capital, Vientiane.
Although this is the capital of Laos and the largest city it’s quiet and laid back. Most tourists seem to ignore it but it has a fabulous atmosphere. The main streets are wide and tree lined showing the influence of French occupation, there is amazing coffee and croissants but at the same time it is very Asian with the standard night market and temples.
Pha That Luang
In the sixteenth century king Setthathirat relocated from Luang Prabang to Vientiane. He built Pha That Luang . It was destroyed by the Thai’s in 1828 but reconstructed by the occupying French. It is a symbol of Laos.
Ho Phra Kea
Also built by king Setthathirat this former temple is now a museum of religious art. Lots of buddhas and beautiful gardens.
The black stupa is in the middle of a traffic island. It supposedly contains a seven headed naga the protects the stupa. Once it was covered in gold but in the 1820’s during the Siamese – Laotian war the gold was stolen. Dont know what the naga was doing! It has never been repaired but is still considered the guardian angel of the city.
This is a victory monument styled to resemble the Arc de Triomphe. Weirdly its made of concrete. You climb up inside past souvenir shops to unbeatable views across the city.