|Vientiane is the capital of Laos with a population of presently 464.000 , located on the bank of the Mekong river. Most travellers are fascinated by the city's exotic Eurasian setting. The confluence of several cultures has given Vientiane an appealing ambience.
Tree-lined boulevards, French historical dwellings and Buddhists temples dominate the scene of central Vientiane and impart a unique character of timelessness.
Vientiane 's major attractions are its scenic Buddhist monasteries and the significant monuments that dominate the scenery of the capital which include Vat Sisaket, Vat Hoprakeo Patousay, That Luang stupa , Vat Ongtu, etc...
Vientiane 's That Luang stupa is the most impressive and biggest stupa in Laos , featured on the Lao insignia. This stupa was constructed in 1566 by King Setthathirat. The Siamese damaged it badly during their invasion in 1828, but it was restored in the 1936s. In mid-November, religious rites as well as a fair are held here during the That Luang festival.
Wat Phra Keo was also constructed by King Setthathirat. It was rebuilt after the Siamese razed it during the Siamese-Lao war of 1828. The building had housed the Emerald Buddha until it was taken to Bangkok following a skirmish with the Lao in 1778. Vat Phra Keo still displays some of the finest Buddha sculptures found in the country.
The Patousay on Lane Xang Avenue is a large monument reminiscent of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris . Its architecture incorporates typical Lao motifs. From the top one can have a panoramic view of the entire city.
Vat Sisaket is the oldest temple of Vientiane , which has survived in its original fomi. Inside the main hall, and along the walls of the courtyard surrounding it, a total of 6,840 Buddha images rest in small niches or on shelves. At Vat Ong Teu resides the Buddhist Institute where monks can study their religion under the guidance of senior instructors.
Revolutionary Museum , housed in an impressive French colonial building. The museum pays tribute to the sacrifices of the Lao People in freeing the country from colonial rule.
The upstairs galleries feature photographs, artifacts and old weapons from the revolution, as well as maps, paintings and dioramas. Downstairs holds an archaeological display and exhibits about modern Laos.
Vat Xieng Khouane ( Buddha Park ): the park is in pleasant and it's a religious culture park located by the Mekong River 24 kilometers down river from Vientiane . Features include an enormous concrete reclining Buddha, and a three-tiered model of heaven, earth and hell which visitors may climb through.
Weaving Village: A halfday excursion of South Vientiane , where you can see the breeding of the silkworms in most of the houses and traditional weaving. Tour ends with a visit to the Buddha Park near Thadeua, the border crossing point with Thailand and the National Ethnic Park beside the Friendship Bridge.
Dansavanh Nam Ngum Resort: About 60 kms from Vientiane , it is the eco-paradise hideaway. Nam Ngurn lake. This majestic and serene location is a nature lover's paradise of over 250 square kilometers. Blossoming out of this beautiful environment is The Dansavanh Nam Ngum Resort. The initial phase of this eco-tourism is now open and features a hotel, restaurants, spa and gaming center. Future development will include the outdoor entertainment Park , a fun-fair venue, a lakeside, clubhouse, together with jetty boats, marine sports and golfing facilities.
The lake is dotted with hundreds of picturesque islands, which can be explored by cruising around in small boats. It might also be interesting to watch the locals felling underwater teak trees, which were submerged when the Nam Ngum lake area was inundated. Near the lake, at Vangsang, primitive Buddha images, dating from the 11th century, are carved into a rock cliff.
Phongsaly is situated in the most Northern tip of Laos , enclosed three sides by china and Vietnam and cut off to overland travel from Oudomsay to the South. It consists of six districts: Phongsaly, Muangmai, Muangkhua,Samphan,Sombounxay and Yot Ou.
More than twenty ethnicities make up the province's population of approximately 153,400; among them Iko, Loma, Akha, Pusang, Thai Dam, Thai Deng, Yao, Thai Lu, Khamou, Phal, Solo, Lao Hoy etc... All retain distinct cultures, Languages and religious beliefs, though their most obvious diffirence is their dress of the women of each tribe. Handicraft skills-notably in weaving, embroidery and making silver jewelry are also well developed.
Phongsaly can be reached by road and river, from Oudomsay it is possible to travel by road as far as Muangkhua in Southern Phongsaly then continues by boat. From Luangnamtha it is possible to travel by road via Muangla ( Yunnan province, China ). From Luangprabang it is possible through the Nam Ou river straight north into the hearth of Phongsaly. Another way, you can travel by Lao Aviation, which provides two flights per week.
Huaphanh province, a mysterious, beautiful and abundant land, is situated in the North East of Laos, bordered by Xieng Khuang and Luang Prabang to the west and Vietnam to the East.
It was the base of the Lao People's Revolutionary, activities and especially the historic interest as the geographical heart of the liberation struggle.
The province has a total population of around 247,300; consisting of many, ethnic groups, each with their own life styles, costumes, folk ways in wedding and other ceremonies, festivals, folk dances and songs, differing from each other. Huaphan has six districts: Viengxay, Xamneua, Xamtai,Viengthong, Xiengkho and Huamuang. The principal town is Viengxay the former name know as Nakai, according to the former time this area had many of birds, reptiles, wild animals.
The province is also famous by limestone mountains and caves; more than one hundred caves are located in this area such as Tham Than Souphanouvong, the former name know as Tham Phapount. In 1964 Mr. Souphanouvong came to set up his residence in this cave.
Tham Than Kaysone, the former name known as Tham Yonesong, in 1964 this cave was established for the residence of Mr. Kaysone Phomvihane. Tham Than Khamtay is the part of Tham Xanglot, it was also the residence of Mr. Khamtay Siphandone; consisting of many compartments such as meeting room, reception room and research room
Is situated in the North West of Laos; sharing borders with Vientiane and Luang Prabang in the East and Thailand in the west.
Sayabouri is the most attractive destinations with sights and charms peculiar to itself and picturesque NorthWest region.
The landscape of Sayabouri is magnificent by several peaks altitudes of more than 1000 metres; the meadows and pastures with flower in full boom; the thick and tangled virgin forests etc... there are, many beautiful things to see in Sayabouri.
The principal town is commonly called Muang Sayaboury, where many impressive temples such as Vat Ban Thin, Vat Ban Phapoun and Vat Ban Natonoy are located.
The area of Muang Phieng, such as Ban Fainaimtan, Ban Nakhem and Ban Nampoui have a tradition of agriculture because the land is fertile suitable for agricultural production; particularly rice, water melons, cabbages and sugar cane.
According to the local tradition, people who live in this area have been using elephants for pulling logs.