SEA Series Part 2: Lovely Laos, Charming Vientiane

This post is part of a series on my 16-day Mainland South East Asian trip with college buddies across Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam.

I have been looking forward to a trip with my college best friends since we graduated in 2005. Imagine how ecstatic I was when two of them were able to join me. It was like college once again, minus the Departmental Exams.🙂

Patuxay Gate, Vientiane

Patuxay Gate, Vientiane

Hello Vientiane! It’s Day 2 of this epic trip jumpstarted by my BAH-BOM-BKK flight + a sleeper train ride.  :)

So I finally arrived at the hostel after a mild walkathon from the central bus station.🙂

I booked VTH via Agoda. For the price I paid, it was good value for money. The room was clean, airy and spacious, with hot shower, lockers and strong WIFI.

I had several English teenagers as dorm mates and they were nice naman. I just smiled at them, mahirap ng mag nose bleed if I try to converse with them LOL. Actually I was a bit tired so I rested a bit, checked my messages online, then took a shower (wala palang shower sa sleeper train, toilet lang).

from Google images

Vientiane Travellers House (from Google images)

Afterwards, I decided to head out, first on list: look for food. Tom Jones mode lah.🙂

Anggaling lang ng area na yun kasi paglabas ko sa kanto e may karinderya agad (read: yummy affordable food) tas may Money changer shop sa kabila. Very convenient. Nagpalit ako ng ilang USD to LAK.

LAK

Oo nga naman, paano ako kakain kung wala akong panggastos na local currency. Haysus, gutom na talaga. :p

After my first full Lao meal, I felt fully charged. Armed with the local map graciously given by the karinderya owner (napansin nya atang nahihilo ako sa map na dala ko na inextract ko lang sa Google maps actually hehe), I began my DIY walking tour of Vientiane.

Presidential Palace

Presidential Palace

Haw Phra Kaew is a former temple in Vientiane, Laos. It is situated on Setthathirath Road, to the southeast of Wat Si Saket. The interior now houses a museum and a small shop.

Haw Phra Kaew

Haw Phra Kaew

Haw Phra Kaew was built between 1565 and 1556, on the orders of King Setthathirath. The temple housed the Emerald Buddha figurine, which Setthathirath had brought from Chiang Mai, then the capital of Lanna, to Luang Prabang. When Vientiane was seized by Siam (now Thailand) in 1778, the figurine was taken to Thonburi and the temple was destroyed.

After it was rebuilt by King Annouvong of Vientiane in the 19th century, it was again destroyed by Siamese forces when King Annouvong rebelled against Siam in an attempt to regain full independence. The revered Buddha now resides in Wat Phra Kaew, Bangkok. The temple was rebuilt for a third time by the French between 1936 and 1942, during colonization of French Indochina.

Haw Phra Kaew

Haw Phra Kaew

Wat Si Saket is a Buddhist wat in Vientiane, Laos. It is situated on Lan Xang Road, on the corner with Setthathirat Road, to the northwest of Haw Phra Kaew, which formerly held the Emerald Buddha.

Wat Sisaket

Wat Sisaket

Wat Si Saket was built in 1818 on the orders of King Anouvong (Sethathirath V.) Si is derived from the Sanskrit title of veneration Sri, prefixed to the name of Wat Saket in Bangkok, which was renamed by Anouvong’s contemporary, King Rama I. Wat Si Saket was built in the Siamese style of Buddhist architecture, with a surrounding terrace and an ornate five-tiered roof, rather than in the Lao style. This may have kept it safe as the armies of Siam that sacked Vientiane in 1827 used the compound as their Headquarters and lodging place. It may now be the oldest temple still standing in Vientiane. The French restored Wat Si Saket in 1924 and again in 1930.

Wat Si Saket features a cloister wall with more than 2000 ceramic and silver Buddha images. The temple also houses a museum.

Wat Sisaket

Wat Sisaket

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inside Wat Sisaket

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28

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I walked and walked until I reached Patuxay Park. I stayed there a bit to rest before I continued further.

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Patuxai (Lao: ປະຕູໄຊ, literally meaning Victory Gate or Gate of Triumph, formerly the Anousavary or Anosavari Monument, known by the French as Monument Aux Morts) is a war monument in the centre of Vientiane, Laos, which was built between 1957 and 1968. The Patuxai is dedicated to those who fought in the struggle for independence from France.

In romanising the name from the Laotian language, it is variously transliterated as Patuxai, Patuxay, Patousai and Patusai. It is also called Patuxai Arch or the Arc de Triomphe of Vientiane as it resembles the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. However, it is typically Laotian in design, decorated with mythological creatures such as the kinnari (half-female, half-bird).

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Hindi ko  alam ang tawag dito kung water lily or what. Basta ang ganda ng kulay. Amazing baga.🙂

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Nakarating ako hanggang sa may Anouvong Park. On the way ay may nakita akong ganire. Therefore, meryenda time!🙂

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colorful sweet crepe on the way to Anouvong Park

crepe

yum!

In 2010, to coincide with the 450th Anniversary celebrations of Vientiane, the Lao government created the Chao Anouvong Park, complete with a large bronze statue of the locally revered King. – Source: Wikipedia

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Chao Anouvong Park

Chao Anouvong (Lao: ເຈົ້າອານຸວົງສ໌; Thai: เจ้าอนุวงศ์; RTGS: Chao Anuwong), or regnal name Xaiya Setthathirath V (Lao: ໄຊຍະເສດຖາທິຣາຊທີ່ຫ້າ; Thai: ไชยเชษฐาธิราชที่ห้า; RTGS: Chaiya Chetthathirat Thi Ha), (1767 – 1829), led the Laotian Rebellion (1826 – 1829) as the last monarch of the Lao Kingdom of Vientiane.

Anouvong succeeded to the throne in 1805 upon the death his brother, Chao Inthavong (Lao: ເຈົ້າອິນທະວົງສ໌; เจ้าอินทวงศ์), Xaiya Setthathirath IV, who had succeeded their father, Phrachao Siribounyasan (Lao: ພຣະເຈົ້າສິຣິບຸນຍະສາຣ; พระเจ้าสิริบุญสาร) Xaiya Setthathirath III.

Anou was known by his father’s regnal number until recently discovered records disclosed that his father and brother had the same regnal name.Source: Wikipedia

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Chao Anouvong

Actually naiwan ko pa nga CP ko at one point nung maupo ako to rest. Naalala ko lang nung mangunguha na sana ko ulit ng picture ng lugar. Pinawisan ako ng malamig habang naglalakad pabalik sa area na yun. Ambait ng mga lokal dahil andun pa yung CP at hinintay nila bumalik ang may ari. Salamat po!

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Sunset by the Mekong

Watched the sunset and then headed back to the hostel. Pagkasagap ng Wifi e may msgs pala ko from Weng, college classmate, ka grupo ko pa sa FS. Magkita raw kami sa Patuxay, have dinner and I can even stay at her place for the night.

Aba’y din a ko nagdalawang isip at inayos ko agad backpack ko and checked out. I thanked the hostel staff and told them I’d be staying with a friend.🙂

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one of the many temple guards all over Vientiane

Weng indeed met me at Patuxay and we headed to her place. Andun din pala Mommy nya on vacation. We left my stuff and took a tuktuk to Khop Chai Deu restaurant. Weng was such a generous host, introducing me to yummy Lao cuisine.

Thanks ulit Weng! 🙂🙂🙂

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Khop Chai Deu

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with Weng

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having drinks while waiting for the food

Lao cuisine

yummy Lao cuisine

We didn’t stay out late, knowing we had to wake up early the next day for more sightseeing.🙂

Up next – SEA Series Part 3: Pha That Luang & Xieng Khuan Buddha Park

Categories: Laos | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “SEA Series Part 2: Lovely Laos, Charming Vientiane

  1. Pingback: SEA Series Part 3: Pha That Luang & Xieng Khuan Buddha Park | adbenturera

  2. Pingback: SEA Series Part 1: SEA Part 1: My Bahrain – Bombay – Bangkok – Vientiane journey | adbenturera

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