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Vientiane City Orientation Walk, Vientiane
Guide Location: Laos » Vientiane
Guide Type: Self-guided city tour
# of Attractions: 12
Tour Duration: 4 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.5 km
Image Courtesy of Flickr and sweet_redbird
Author: sabrina
This self-guided walking tour is included in the iOS app "City Maps and Walks (470+ Cities)" in iTunes and the Android app "Vientiane Map and Walks" in Google Play.

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The capital of Laos, Vientiane, is a lovely city, the history of which is reflected in its old temples, each with its own legend, memorial monuments, garden squares and colonial buildings. Vienetiane is in the heart of the Buddhist world. This has ensured the presence of numerous Buddhist temples and shrines that compose the bulk of the city’s landmarks. Take this self-guided tour to visit the city’s most popular attractions.
Attractions Map
Tour Stops and Attractions
1) Wat Chanthaburi
Wat Chanthaburi or Wat Chan is a magnificent Buddhist temple built in the middle of the 16th century. It was destroyed during the Siam invasion of 1928, but has since undergone numerous restorations. The temple is highly rated because of its elaborate decorative features such as carved wood designs, as well as for the well-known huge seated Buddha sculpture made of bronze in the 16th century. The image is said to have survived numerous...
Image Courtesy of Flickr and waywuwei
2) Wat Inpeng
Wat Inpeng Voraamahavihanh or “Temple of the Incarnation of Indra” is another symbol of the city and a prominent religious landmark. According to legend, it was founded in the 3rd century, when Indra arrived to the area to aid local artists in creating the image of Buddha. However, historical records confirm that the construction of the temple occurred in the 16th century. The main highlight of the temple is its rich decorations with carved wood frescoes and a mosaic façade. Statues and...
Image Courtesy of Flickr and Gusjer
3) Wat Ong Teu
Wat Ong Teu Mahawihan (Temple of the Heavy Buddha) is one of many Buddhist Monasteries that are present in the city of Vientiane. This name is given to the temple due to the large, bronze Phra Ong Teu Buddha image that is present within the temple: the largest Buddha in Vientiane.

This temple was initially constructed by King Settathirat I in the 16th century (known as the golden age of Buddhism in Laos) when Laos was being bombarded by the Burmese, but was later demolished during a foreign...
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Mr ATM
Sight description based on wikipedia
4) Wat Mixai
Wat Mixai is another beautiful temple known for its ornate blue mosaic designs. Niak, or a giant guardian, stands on both sides of the beautiful gate welcoming the visitors. The colourful façade of the temple is decorated with gold coated wooden carvings designed in the finest traditions of Laotian architectural splendour. The temple’s main highlight is a series of old Chinese funeral stupas found along the sim or main hall. It is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm. The entrance to the temple is on...
Image Courtesy of Flickr and Olivier Simon
5) Nam Phou Square
Nam Phou Square is the city’s meeting place, hub and popular tourist spot. Decorated with floral arrangements, Nam Phou has been the icon of Vientiane for many years. There are numerous cafes and restaurants surrounding the square which is crowned by a beautiful fountain. It is a great place for a morning coffee or an evening walk. Tuk tuk drivers gather here in numbers, making the square a good place to start your tour of the...
Image Courtesy of Flickr and Kristina Katich
6) That Dam
That Dam, known as ‘Black Stupa’, is a large ancient landmark situated in the heart of the city. The legend that has been feeding the imagination of locals for years says it was once coated with gold that was carted off after the Siam invasion. This mythological structure is also said to have been protected by seven Naga creatures who managed to withstand the armies of Siam despite giving up the gold. Today Laos’ oldest temple is crumbling and growing with moss and weed, which somehow adds...
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Alex Valavanis
7) Presidential Palace
Situated on Lane Xang Street, Presidential Palace was originally built for the French colonial governor. It has also served as the residence of the royal family during the brief Laos monarchy reign. Today, the two-storey Beaux Arts mansion is mainly used for official government meetings and ceremonies. Presidential Palace’s important historical significance and elegant façade insured its place among the top landmarks of the...
Image Courtesy of Flickr and Californian Em
8) Wat Si Muang
Founded in 1566, Wat Si Muang, also known as Simuong, is another lovely Buddhist temple that is popular among both locals and visitors for its stunning bronze Buddha statues. The temple is famous for bringing good luck and wealth, particularly to those trying to have children. Wat Si Muang’s relatively modest construction is complemented beautifully by the elaborate wooden carvings and paintings. The temple is surrounded by ornate gates. Tourists willing to check out the altar and the rest of...
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Ondřej Žváček
9) Sacre Coeur Catholic Church
Sacre Coeur Catholic Church is the largest church in Vientiane. Located at Mission Street (Rue de la Mission), it represents a colonial Romanesque, rather simplistic structure, built in 1928 and recently renovated, in 2005. The church belongs to the Vicariate Apostolic of...
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Torbenbrinker
10) Patuxai
Patuxai literally meaning Victory Gate or Gate of Triumph, formerly the Anousavary or Anosavari Monument known by the French as Monument Aux Morts) is a war monument in the centre of Vientiane, which was built between 1957 and 1968. Patuxai is dedicated to those who fought in the struggle for independence from France.

In romanising the name from the Laotian language, it is variously transliterated as Patuxai, Patuxay, Patousai and Patusai. It is also given the name of Patuxai Arch or the...
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Ondřej Žváček
Sight description based on wikipedia
11) Pha That Luang
Pha That Luang is a gold-covered large Buddhist stupa in the centre of Vientiane. Since its initial establishment suggested to be in the 3rd century, the stupa has undergone several reconstructions until the 1930s due to foreign invasions to the area. It is generally regarded as the most important national monument in Laos and a national symbol.

The architecture of the building includes many references to Lao culture and identity, and so has become a symbol of Lao nationalism. The stupa today...
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Aaron Smith
Sight description based on wikipedia
12) Lao Army Museum
Lao Army Museum is located near the Ministry of Defence compound. The entrance is decorated with sculptures depicting workers’ revolutionary struggle. Opened in 1976, the museum showcases a wide collection of artefacts and photographs about the Lao People's Army, starting from the 1950s, when the National Revolutionary Movement started, and describes its historical achievements. Outside the museum, some massive army machines are exposed, including a tank. Opening hours: 8 am – 11 am, 2...
Image Courtesy of Flickr and Chaoborus
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Vientiane City Orientation Walk, Vientiane