One of Asia’s most relaxed and quiet capital cities, Vientiane is nestled in fertile plains on the banks of the Mekong River. Many buildings reflect the country’s past links with Europe, such as the old French colonial houses and the capital’s Victory Monument, which bears a striking, if somewhat rococo, similarity to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. An important national monument is the 16th-century That Luang (Royal Stupa) that symbolises Buddhist and Lao union. Other interesting sights include the Lao Revolutionary Museum; Wat Ho Prakeo, a former royal temple; Wat Sisaket, one of the capital’s oldest temples; Wat Xieng Khouang (Buddha Park), situated 24km (15 miles) south of the city and displaying fascinating Buddhist and Hindu structures.
(Luang Prabang, Vientiane)
As a saffron-robed monk ties a sacred string around your wrist in a blessing of good luck, you’ll fall instantly in love with this mysterious land and its warm, joyful people.
(Vientiane, Luang Prabang)
Interacting with one of the wisest and most gentle creatures in the animal kingdom is a spiritual experience, and riding your elephant through the green countryside and rugged mountains of Luang Prabang, you’ll feel a deep connection to this serene, slow-paced land.
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