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Buddhism, history and tuk-tuk- these are three phenomena that would not escape you once you have landed in the distinctively laid back capital city of Laos. Possibly a riverside view (during dawn or dusk), local cuisines and architecture would run in close second to the legendary trio mentioned above. A curious or unassuming visitor to this part of the world is sure to get treated to a gentle mix of all the above, thus making it a distinctly unforgettable experience.

Places of Interest in Vientiane
Lao National Museum
It is wise to start exploring a city from a museum because it usually gives an extensive view of the host country’s culture and history. Pursuing Laotian violent past in this regard, you can start your day with Lao National Museum that has an extensive collection of historical artifacts. It includes original jars from the prehistoric Plain of Jars and some Stone and Bronze Age tools. Next floor relates to the history of 18th century Laos and its revolutionary struggle against Thai, American and French forces. A key attraction of Lao National Museum is a collection of unexploded American bombs that were sprayed over the city from 1964 to 1973.

Patuxai is what happens when French architecture, Buddhist embellishment and American concrete bar meet at one place and one time. It is mostly a local rendition of the French linchpin Arc de Triomphe, except that Patuxai has four entrances and is a little higher than the French masterpiece. It is quite impressive even from a distance and is characterized by a concrete block (called Monster of Concrete) that was gifted by the US for a new airport. You can climb up to the seventh floor of Patuxai for a 360-degree view of the city.

Black Stupa (That Dam)
You can’t possibly miss this! That Dam or the Black Stupa is the mythical abode of the seven-headed dragon that protects the national capital city of Vientiane. It has an attractive sheen of black color that is a reminiscent of a fabled account which states that the temple was once coated with gold. The temple is said to be unrobed of its affluent golden appearance by the Siamese forces during an invasion in 1827 AD.

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