Coordinates: 18°N 105°E / 18°N 105°E / 18; 105
Restaurants in Laos
5.0 based on 201 reviews
This was a great activity to do with our young kids aged 9 and 7. We were picked up at our hotel in Vang Vieng for a scenic 45 minute drive to get to the sanctuary. When we arrived we had an interesting, informative and entertaining introductory talk by the owner of the sanctuary. This gave a background to the culture, history and threats to elephants in Laos, as well as what he is trying to achieve at the sanctuary. A fairly easy trek (waterproof shoes provided) through a beautiful landscape took us to the elephants’ natural habitat. We were able to feed the elephants with bananas and then bathe them in a nearby river. We then trekked back to the sanctuary buildings with elephants, during which we saw them having a mud bath. Back at the sanctuary buildings we fed them some more and were in turn fed a delicious Lao lunch. It was an amazing privilege to be at such close quarters with these gentle, curious and majestic animals. There are four elephants currently at the sanctuary. Groups of visitors (one in the morning and one in the afternoon) are limited in numbers so as to maintain a good visitor-elephant ratio. I can thoroughly recommend this activity as an inspirational way to spend half a day!
4.5 based on 11,068 reviews
If you're in Luang Prabang, you can't miss this site. This is the most beautiful waterfall I have ever seen, and you can climb up to the top of the waterfall, and take a short bamboo raft ride to the source of the waterfall (it's an underground cave). The only thing to note is near the top of the waterfall, there are signs for a cave, which we followed for a while. I think it's about a 2 mile hike to the cave, which is further than we anticipated, and we decided to turnaround half way through since we didn't have the time to keep exploring. If you're tight for time, enjoy your time at the waterfall and don't get distracted by the cave signs!
4.5 based on 2,464 reviews
This is a museum dedicated to the legacy of the US bombing campaign in Laos known as the ‘secret war’ of unexploded ordinances and the ongoing human impacts which include maiming and death of farm workers and children and the work of COPE and their partners in UXO clearances and the provision of psycho-physical needs of victims. Profoundly moving. Free entry but donations are graciously received and go to find their work in the field.
4.5 based on 97 reviews
We made it to the first viewing hut in around one hour going slow with breaks. Leave early to make sure you have the time to return slowly before the lights fade. Great outdoorsy experience and view. Turn by the sign for the school and follow the signs to arrive at the entrance. Bring water and take the bottle back with you.
4.0 based on 2,764 reviews
The "Victory Gate" of the city was built in 1962 out of U.S.-purchased cement that was intended for a new airport.
Built between 1957 and 1968 out of US purchased cement destined for an airport, the victory gate is rather like the Arc De Triomphe, except it was built in honour of those who struggled in their efforts to gain independence from France. It’s a rather nice monument set in very nice, well-kept grounds. There’s a great city view and a runway style pathway leading up to and through the arc. Well worth a visit.
4.0 based on 1,596 reviews
A 24-carat, 45-meter high Buddhist shrine.
As part of an 18 day Asian adventure to celebrate our 40th anniversary, my wife and I enjoyed a short 5 day Wendy Wu “Laos in Focus” private tour in January 2020, organised through Asia DMC Laos, incorporating a three night stay in Luang Prabang and one night in Vientiane. Our all too short stay in Vientiane included a “whirl wind” tour of the main city attractions including the delightful Wat That Luang Tai Temple culminating with a view of the next door iconic gold covered Pha That Luang, commonly known as the Great Stupa. Out of interest, the Encyclopaedia Britannica defines a “Stupa” as a Buddhist commemorative monument usually housing sacred relics associated with the Buddha or other saintly persons. What an impressive sight the gold covered Great Stupa is. It is a stunning building that dominates the landscape. It is an imposing Buddhist stupa with a height from ground to pinnacle of 147.6 feet or 44 metres. It has a unique, pyramid-like shape and is surrounded at the base by 30 smaller spire-shaped stupas. The entire stupa is divided into three tiers, each narrower than the last, each conveying a reflection of part of the Buddhist doctrine. The first level measures 67 metres by 68 metres; the second is 47 metres along each side; and the third level is 29 metres along each side. The pinnacle of the Stupa is covered in pure gold leaf. Building of the Stupa began in 1566, under the direction of the Laotian king Setthathirat when he decided to move the capital from the city of Luang Prabang to Vientiane. At the front of the Stupa is an interesting statue of King Setthathirat seated on a large stone plinth holding a weapon of warfare and enclosed in a special fenced off area. In 1828, Pha That Luang was almost completely destroyed by the invading Kingdom of Siam and abandoned after that. It was the French in 1930 who decided to rebuild the Stupa along King Setthathirat’s original plans. It was apparently nearly destroyed in 1940 during the independence movements of Southeast Asia, however after World War II further reconstruction followed, leaving us with the splendid structure we see today. We would have really appreciated the opportunity to go inside the grounds and get a closer look at this architectural masterpiece. However, time was not on our side given that our city tour had been delayed by a couple of hours. Never mind, it was better to see the Great Stupa even from a distance than not at all. The visit to Pha That Luang was preceded by an equally impressive visit to the temple next door - Wat That Luang Tai (reviewed separately under Vat That Khao) with its highlights of an incredibly beautiful Pavilion building housing intricate, colourful murals or frescoes on the life of Buddha and of course the imposing gold covered reclining Buddha. Together with the Great Stupa the two attractions made for a Vientiane travellers’ dynamic temple duo – definitely not to be missed. Also, you get some very good initial views of the Great Stupa from within the grounds of Wat That Luang Tai. To us, the sight of Pha That Luang, the Great Stupa, is up there with some of the best unique architectural achievements we have had the privilege to see and visit including, to name three, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, the Opera House in Sydney, Australia and the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. How fortunate then that we were able to see this most splendid gold covered structure. It has left a lasting imprint on us. The world is indeed a beautiful place to enjoy when we can admire a unique architectural masterpiece like this.
4.0 based on 1,289 reviews
This temple contains 6,840 Buddha images of gold, silver and bronze.
close to the city center, 20k entrance but worth it. Nice temple with great authentic feel. Best time to visit is mid day. not that many people
4.0 based on 2,367 reviews
This sculpture park is a collection of hundreds if Buddhist and Hindu statues scattered around a meadow.
The park is so beautiful, absolutely worth seeing! We found this sign on a tree and it was a lot cheaper than any of the other tours we found. Plus he took us to the friendship bridge, the gate, a beautiful all silver temple, and the Pagoda and gave us a great insight into National history and legend of the places. He was so friendly and funny, we even went for a beer with him afterwards. And 8$ for all you get is really nothing. The other drivers and hostel tours take 12$ and you just get a ride there and back. Just text him, he was available the same day for us.
4.0 based on 458 reviews
Buy a ticket in Vang Vieng then they will pick you up and drive you to the cave. You are going to get wet so take appropriate clothes or swim wear. They supply head torch and Tube and a cave leader to look after you Lay back and Enjoy
3.5 based on 1,560 reviews
Amazing.. Seriously amazing and fun.. Get a mountain bike and explore... Its easily the cheapest and most fun way of doing the lagoons and caves. You will not be disspointed. The whole loop is no more than 5 hours so is a proper day out and No carbon footprint and no falling off a moped and ruining yourself and your stay... Get up get out and lively in the most beautiful country in the world bar none... Anyone who thinks Laos vang vieng has nothing to offer but a drinking culture just needs to cross the bridge to paradise xx
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