I arrived in Vientiane, the capital and largest city in Laos, by plane from Hanoi and my time here was short but sweet. I only stayed for a couple of nights so I tried to fit in as many sights as I could before moving on. There are some beautiful temples and monuments to see here and lots of lovely eateries to relax in while you escape the heat.
I visited the Patuxai war monument, which was built in typical Laotian design and gives a view over the whole city. I visited That Luang, a gold Buddhist stupa which is considered to be the most important monument in the country and a national symbol. I also spent time exploring the many buildings around the stupa, including a huge reclining Buddha statue which was really beautiful.
I would also highly recommend visiting the COPE Visitor Centre. COPE was formed to provide care and support, particularly prosthetics, for people injured by unexploded bombs. Due to the Vietnam War, Laos is the most heavily bombed country in the world relative to its size. People are still maimed and killed by unexploded bombs left scattered across the countryside. If you’re going to be visiting Vientiane and you want to learn more about this issue, make sure you visit the COPE centre.
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