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The capital of Laos, Vientiane, is a stunning riverside city on the banks of the Mekong River. It is the country’s answer to charm and grace of the architectural brilliance of other notable South Asian cities like Bangkok, Singapore, Shanghai etc., sans the noisy atmosphere and hotchpotch. You find this tranquil city a home to many Buddhist temples and monuments, central to which is a 16th century gold covered Buddhist stupa called Pha That Luang that is believed to contain the breastbone of Lord Buddha. Another attraction here would include Wat Si Muang temple. It was built on the ruins of a Khmer Hindu shrine, the remains of which are still visible.
The national symbol and most significant religious monument of teh country, Pha That Luang is a three-layered gold-covered Buddhist stupa in Vientiane. Common folklore believes that this 16th century marvel was first built over a 3rd century Hindu temple and that one of the stupas then contained the breastbone of Lord Buddha. The best time to come here is on a full moon night in November when the city’ most important festival, Bun That Luang, is being celebrated here.
Wat Si Muang
Wat Si Muang is a famous 16th century Buddhist temple built on the ruins of a much older Khmer Empire Hindu shrine in Vientiane. Common folklore believes that if you kneel before it and lift a Buddha statue 3 times from its cushion, your prayers or questions will be answered. The interiors of the temple are evinced by carved pillars and two golden statues of Lord Buddha- one sitting and meditating, the other reclining.The Lao National Museum
The Lao National Museum in Vientiane is centrally hallmarked by an extensive display related to the communist revolution of the 1970s. Housed inside a former French governor’s residence in 1925, it is the go-to point to appreciate the national history and the way the city’s inhabitants fought back to sustain their national pride against Thai, French and American colonial forces. Some highlights here include artifacts and tools related to Khmer culture, and lots of photographs related to the country’s history.