Vientiane – City tour and Buddha Park
After breakfast we explore the city by visiting the oldest temple in Vientiane, Wat Sisaket with thousands of miniature Buddha statues, and the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo, which now serves as a museum of arts and antiques. We then travel up Lanexang Avenue you will have the opportunity to take some pictures of the imposing Patuxai Monument, which resembles its Parisian inspiration, the Arc de Triomphe. The climb to the top offers great views over Vientiane. We continue onwards down Rue Singha 23 to Laos’ National icon, and most important religious building the golden stupa of That Luang. The final visit of the morning will be the excellent COPE exhibition centre, highlighting a much overlooked aspect of Laos and a major problem many of the local people face on a day to day basis in the form of unexploded ordnance as a result of heavy bombing campaigns during the Vietnam War area.
In the afternoon we visit the quirky yet impressive Buddha Park, an enchanting collection of Buddhist and Hindu sculptures on the banks of the Mekong River. By no means historic – Buddha Park was built in the 1950’s by a self styled ‘holy man’ – the park features some very photogenic and unusual sculptures, including a huge reclining Buddha, and a giant pumpkin. Upon returning to Vientiane we have the optional of stopping at the Lao Disabled Women’s Centre, which provides valuable training and schooling for disabled women in Laos. The friendly women here learn how to make silk & paper handicrafts and how to live independently. Have a chat with the women to find out about their interesting lives. We continue back to town, where a spectacular view of the Mekong River at sunset is a perfect way to finish the day.
Overnight in Vientiane