Vientiane, Laos’ national capital, mixes French-colonial architecture with Buddhist temples such as the golden, 16th-century Pha That Luang, which is a national symbol. Along broad boulevards and tree-lined streets are many notable shrines including Wat Si Saket, which features thousands of Buddha images, and Wat Si Muang, built atop a Hindu shrine.

Vientiane is the capital city of Laos but many visitors here say that is feels more like a small village than a bustling central hub. Vientiane has a relaxed and serene vibe to it and you will find a number of attractions here that make it the perfect place to spend a few days before you head off to other places around the country.

Laos used to be a former French colony and with that in mind you can check out a number of French themed buildings and attractions that seem slightly at odds with the otherwise leafy and exotic surroundings that make up this capital city.

As Vientiane is also on the river, you can stroll along the riverfront promenade and enjoy local markets as well as sample delicious street food snacks.

There are also a clutch of interesting ancient buildings here such as Buddhist temples and you can get outside the city in no time to explore the little villages dotted around the encircling countryside.

VISIT XIENG KHUAN

Xieng Khuan is also known as Buddha Park and is some 25 kilometers outside Vientiane.

As you would guess from the name, is known for having more than 200 religious statues which are scattered all over the lush grounds.

The piece de resistance here is a sculpture of a reclining Buddha which is some 40 meters high and the park was the brainchild of a monk who designed the area in 1958 and who was interested in both Hindu and Buddhist sculpture, which is why you will find a mix of different influences here.

As you walk around make sure to look out for the sculpture of Indra who is atop a three headed elephant and who is considered to be the king of the gods in Hinduism.

Other highlights include famous gods on horseback as well as deities with multiple faces and arms.

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