Prime sustainable issues to do in Vientiane Laos – Loopy horny enjoyable traveler

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Earlier than visiting Laos I’d heard there’s not that many issues to do in Vientiane Laos, the capital. However after spending a few days there each to start with and ultimately of my journey, I’ve to disagree. Sure, it’s true that many locations to go to there are non secular temples however for a temple lover like me, that’s good.

 

As I used to be invited to Laos to advertise sustainable tourism, I’m going to focus solely on accountable journey on this article. Let me affirm that Laos is an ideal nation to journey in a really eco-friendly approach.

 

 

10 sustainable issues to do in Vientiane

 

1. Nongkamsen temple

Typically additionally spelled as: Phothong temple (Nong khamsane/ NongKhamsen).

 

This was the primary temple we visited and it was precisely the oasis of serenity I wanted when jetlagged. Some peace and quiet. The temple is situated outdoors of Vientiane near the border with Thailand. Its location makes it very tranquil in comparison with some temples proper within the metropolis middle. Throughout our go to I noticed no different vacationers there; solely locals.

 

The legendary lake and the sculpture of Naga within the temple space make it particular for the locals. The large sculpture was introduced there from Northern Laos in 2020. It took them unbelievable 4 days to move it!

 

The rumor has it they needed to open a restaurant subsequent to the temple however ultimately it didn’t work out so the temple saved the wetlands and the lake ultimately. Nice! That permit me go for a brief stroll across the lake to benefit from the mild odor of lotus flowers and take heed to animals chirping within the background. 

 

The legend says there’s some huge cash hidden contained in the lake however I wasn’t fortunate sufficient to see any from the shore. Keep in mind, fishing within the temple lake is prohibited on the so known as Buddhist days (the eighth and fifteenth day of the lunar calendar every month).

 

At first Buddhism in Laos was blended with Hinduism which is why we are able to typically see each religions represented at temples. 

 

I counsel you to stroll across the temple space to identify additionally some Hindu statues among the many Buddhist ones. And should you want extra of good luck in your life, you may stroll across the temple and play every gong 3 occasions. When you’d like to provide some choices to the Gods, purchase flowers, fruit, candles or incense sticks in one of many many road stalls proper there subsequent to the temple.

 

 

TIP: To get to the Nongkamsen temple, you may hire a bike or tuk tuk, or use Loca app.

 

 

 

 

2. Xiengkhuan temple (Buddha park)

Regardless of of its identify, the Xiengkhuan temple is definitely not an actual temple however a beautiful inexperienced park with many Buddha statues which is why it’s often known as the ”Buddha park” in English.

 

The park was constructed in 1958 by the proprietor of the land who first requested the locals to donate cash to the temple. That’s how the proprietor managed to construct the park and all of the statues in it. In a while, the proprietor escaped from Laos to Thailand, the place he constructed an identical temple, even larger. He died in Thailand in 1998.

 

In all probability probably the most fascinating a part of the Buddha park is the tall development temple with a “tree of life” on high. The door to get into the temple appears like an enormous open mouth. There’s 3 storeys inside: the one you enter by the mouth is the center ground (= Earth); the first ground beneath the Earth is clearly Hell; and the highest third ground represents Heaven (there’s a difficult solution to get to Heaven climbing up troublesome spiral stairs). I undoubtedly suggest you to go up the temple to benefit from the views of the complete park. Simply watch out when doing so.

 

As soon as down from the temple, take a sluggish stroll across the park listening to many Buddhist and Hindu statues. Every statue has its personal fascinating story.

 

 

 

 

3. COPE Middle Museum

Non-profit group COPE (The Cooperative Orthotic and Prosthetic Enterprise) was established in 1996.

 

Do you know? Sadly, Laos is probably the most closely bombed nation on the planet per capita. Through the ”secret” North Vietnam Battle (1964-1973), the US bombed Laos killing and injuring hundreds of individuals. Uptodate, there’s nonetheless thousands and thousands of unexploded cluster bombs unfold across the fields in Laos which randomly explode and injure the locals. It’s estimated that greater than 15,000 bomb survivors nonetheless require ongoing assist.

 

COPE assist Laotians with bodily and psychological disabilities to regulate to the society, offering clubfoot remedy, and prosthetic and orthotic units to bomb survivors. In addition they allow entry to high quality rehabilitation companies and surgical procedure to disabled individuals, assist them with their medical bills and so on.

 

I’ve to confess that visiting the COPE middle, studying concerning the bombing historical past in Laos and looking out on the photographs of some Laotians that are actually in a position to stay an virtually regular life due to the COPE middle assist, made me cry.

 

 

TIP: It could be extremely appreciated should you may assist the COPE middle with on-line donations, or in individual, or by shopping for totally different souvenirs proper there on the COPE Vientiane store.

 

 

COPE Center Museum VientianeCOPE Center Museum Vientiane

COPE Middle Museum Vientiane

COPE VientianeCOPE Vientiane

COPE Vientiane

 

4. Pha That Luang Stupa

Pha That Luang Stupa is the largest stupa in Laos which might be making it a very powerful non secular website in the entire nation. To many, it’s additionally an emblem of Lao nationalism.

 

When the capital was moved from Luang Prabang to Vientiane, the previous smaller stupa was rebuilt into an even bigger one. Initially, the stupa was standing within the middle of a temple however throughout the 1828 struggle elements of the temple had been burnt and the stupa was broken and deserted. In a while, in 1932 the stupa was lastly reconstructed into its present form. 

 

At first, the stupa had 4 temples round it (one in every path) however now solely South and North stupas are left.

 

In 2016 the gold high of the stupa was changed by a brand new one from cash and gold donated by locals. The top is made from 9 kilograms of actual gold, whereas the rest of the stupa is simply coated in golden coloration paint.

 

Because it’s believed to comprise a relic of Buddha, the stupa is the image of Buddhist faith. To commemorate the truth that Buddha was a monk for 45 years, the stupa from floor to pinnacle is precisely 45 meters excessive. The 30 small stupas across the huge stupa symbolize the 30 classes of Buddha.

 

Buddha statues within the stupa complicated are created from stone in Cambodian fashion. The Hindu faith can also be represented there.

These days, the stupa is well known throughout the Full Moon of November throughout the Thatluang competition.

 

 

TIP: It’s not allowed to fly drones on this space as a result of many embassies and ministries round.

 

The stupa is situated within the highest a part of Vientiane. Prior to now many locals would disguise in that space when the city bought flooded. Paradoxically, these days the identical space will get flooded actually because the canals get clogged with an excessive amount of trash. Possibly that’s another excuse to make use of much less plastic and lead a extra sustainable lifestyle 😉

 

 

5. Sisaket temple

The Sisaket temple, additionally spelled as a two-word Si Saket, was constructed solely in 1818 within the up to date Buddhist fashion. Because it was nonetheless very new, it survived the struggle of 1828 when many different temples on the town had been destroyed. That makes the Sisaket one of many oldest, if not THE oldest, temple nonetheless standing in Vientiane. 

 

The temple was restored in 1924 and once more in 1930 by the French colonial authorities. Now it holds a museum the place you want to pay a small entrance payment. The temple is surrounded by a cloister wall (roofed open gallery) with greater than 2,000 Buddha photographs and sculptures. Many of the statues are available in two as it’s believed that all the pieces in life is twin (has 2 elements).

 

TIP: It’s prohibited to take photographs inside the primary temple constructing which is roofed by lovely colourful wall work. The colours are slowly disappearing however they’re nonetheless unique. Nevertheless, images is allowed within the cloister gallery.

 

 

Sisaket temple Vientiane Laos (4)Sisaket temple Vientiane Laos (4)

Sisaket temple Vientiane Laos (4)

statues at open gallery at Sisaket temple Vientiane Laosstatues at open gallery at Sisaket temple Vientiane Laos

statues at open gallery at Sisaket temple Vientiane Laos

 

6. Victory monument Patuxay

The Victory monument was completed in 1968 to indicate the independence from France.

 

It’s much like the Victory monument in Paris however the one in Paris has solely 2 entrances whereas the one in Vientiane has 4 entrances. Their design is clearly totally different, too. The victory monument in Paris doesn’t have the highest like this one with the pinnacle of the Brahma.

 

It’s discovered on the map as ”Patuxay” (and variously written as Patuxai, Patousai or Patusai). Its which means is ”Victory Gate” or ”Gate of Triumph” in English.

 

The Victory monument, beneath reconstruction now, is situated within the Patuxay park with World Peace Gong and a pleasant fountain with gentle and sound within the night. The fabric that was used to construct the arch was paid from the US funds to construct a brand new airport. Enjoyable reality: the Laotians determined to construct The Patuxay struggle memorial as an alternative of increasing the airport.

 

The European-style Patuxay arch is embellished with conventional Laotian carvings, in addition to Hindu Gods depicted beneath the gate (e.g. Hanuman, Brahma). Many individuals go to Patuxay believing that victory its representing may presumably convey good luck into their life, too.

 

TIP: It’s a totally totally different expertise to go to Patuxay throughout the day vs. at darkish. Each are advisable to get a unique vibe. Within the night you may watch the romantic sound and light-weight fountain present there without spending a dime.

 

 

Victory monument Patuxay after rainVictory monument Patuxay after rain

Victory monument Patuxay after rain

Victory monument Patuxay VientianeVictory monument Patuxay Vientiane

Victory monument Patuxay Vientiane

 

 

7. Night chanting with monks

Some temples in Vientiane have an entrance payment, others are free to go to. There’s 4 actually distinctive temples strolling distance from the sustainable Salana Boutique Resort I used to be staying at, and all 4 of them are free to enter: Wat Inpeng, Wat Ong Teu, Wat Mixai, and Vat Haysoke. I had time to go to all of them greater than as soon as and revel in a peaceable second there each alone, and surrounded by monks.  

 

A few of my very favourite moments in Vientiane had been experiencing the night chanting with monks. Many temples are free to go to for night chanting, normally beginning round 6pm. You may sit there on the temple ground, take heed to the monks chanting and praying, after which be a part of within the silent meditation with them. Some temples even have karaoke books with lyrics accessible for guests should you determine to chant alongside.

 

TIP: I’ve additionally heard that locals love visiting the Wat Si Muang temple however sadly, I didn’t have time to go there. I consider there’s an entrance payment to get into throughout the day.

 

 

 

 

evening chanting with monks Wat Ong Teu Vientiane Laosevening chanting with monks Wat Ong Teu Vientiane Laos

night chanting with monks Wat Ong Teu Vientiane Laos

Wat Ong Teu Vientiane Laos (3)Wat Ong Teu Vientiane Laos (3)

Wat Ong Teu temple Vientiane Laos

 

 

8. That Dam Stupa

The That Dam is a big bell-shaped black stupa. It needs to be in your itinerary not solely as a result of it’s free to go to. The Sixteenth-century Buddhist stupa is situated in a small park with bushes and benches to relaxation, surrounded by a quiet roundabout.

 

Some Laotians consider that the stupa is inhabited by a 7-headed naga serpent/dragon that attempted to guard them from an invasion in 1827.

 

There’s not that a lot to see but it surely’s nonetheless fascinating to note how nature all the time wins over us people. The stupa is now overgrown with vegetation which makes it much more distinctive to take a look at.

 

That Dam interprets to Black Stupa.

 

That Dam Stupa Vientiane Laos (1)That Dam Stupa Vientiane Laos (1)

That Dam Stupa Vientiane Laos (1)

in front of the That Dam Stupa Vientiane Laosin front of the That Dam Stupa Vientiane Laos

in entrance of the That Dam Stupa Vientiane Laos

 

9. Night time markets

Night time markets are a factor in lots of Laotian cities and Vientiane isn’t any exception to that. I discovered time to discover 3 totally different evening markets within the metropolis middle.

Vientiane evening markets to go to:

  • Night time market with meals on the Rue Hengboun road – many stalls with a great deal of good meals to select from. They even have some vegan meal choices and younger coconuts there, yay!
  • Vientiane Night time Market situated on the Chao Anouvong Park alongside the Mekong Riverfront – should you’d like to purchase low cost garments, footwear and handicrafts, go there. As soon as there, you may spend a second to go to the attractive Chinese language ”Ho Kang” temple.
  • Ban Anou Night time Market – it was fairly empty after I visited. You may get meals or garments there for a greater value. No must discount.

 

TIP: Laos si nonetheless cheaper than the encircling nations. When you’d like to purchase one thing at evening markets, don’t neglect to convey money.

 

Vientiane Night Market LaosVientiane Night Market Laos

Vientiane Night time Market Laos

clothes at Vientiane Night Market Laosclothes at Vientiane Night Market Laos

garments at Vientiane Night time Market Laos

 

10. Stroll alongside the Mekong river

When staying in downtown, your Vientiane go to wouldn’t be full with out spending a while by the Mekong river. I lastly discovered an hour to stroll alongside the Mekong on my final morning on the town earlier than flying out of Laos. To be trustworthy, I used to be a bit dissatisfied as you may’t see a lot of the Mekong proper within the metropolis middle, but it surely was nonetheless nice to get the sensation of nature straight within the capital.

 

I solely had time to stroll from the Vientiane Night time Market space in direction of the Naga boat and again. The realm was very quiet by midday which is what I really liked however I suppose it will get crowded within the night when individuals go to sit back to one of many bars or eating places there.

 

 

Mekong river Vientiane Laos (1)Mekong river Vientiane Laos (1)

Mekong river in Vientiane Laos

a monk by the Mekong river Vientiane Laosa monk by the Mekong river Vientiane Laos

a monk by the Mekong river Vientiane Laos

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer: My sustainable journey to Laos was a part of the SUSTOUR Laos Challenge funded by the European Union and carried out by Plan Worldwide Laos.






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