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Vientiane

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The small and relaxed Lao capital of Vientiane sits on the northern bank of the Mekong River facing across to the even sleepier Thai town of Sri Chiang Mai. The city’s population is circa 140 000 inhabitants. The capital has been since a second half of 16th century when King Setthathirat moved here from Luang Prabang. The tree-lined boulevards, faded buildings from the French colonial period and sections along the Mekong River are especially charming.

Among main attraction belongs a country’s symbol Pha That Luang. Pha That Luang was established in 1566 and reconstructed in 1930. This most important building stays on the top of hill five kilometers northeast of centre.

Patouxai –reminiscent of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. Decoration is Lao, is known by a variety of names. It was former called as Anousavary monument and established in 1958 on Lan Xang Avenue.

Wat Phra Keo, was build in 1565 by king Setthathirat. It had served for many years like a king palace. The Emerald Buddha (actually carved from a type of jade), which is nowadays in Bangkok was placed here. The original temple was destroyed during the Siamese invasion of 1828 and rebuilt between 1936 and 1942, supposedly following the original plan exactly.

Wat Sisaket – is the only temple which was not destroyed during Thai occupation in 1828. This temple is now the oldest one and inside are 6840 pictures of Buddha.

Because of tenth Asian presidential meeting there was possibility of closing Thai-Lao border. I decided to leave the country. After only six hours, when I had to solve problem with Kips - Lao currency, I took a bus and over only bridge over Mekong river cross the border.


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