Exploring Vientiane, Laos

In this episode, Rod first discovers the coffee culture of this capital city, a city that seeks to preserve and celebrate its connections to many cultures—French, German and more. Many of the historic buildings are in fantastic condition. This piece showcases the many eras of Vientiane. And what does Vientiane have in common with Beverly Hills? Watch and find out.

Enjoy the tour of Wat Sisaket as well—the most famous and oldest wat in the region. Not too far away, the Phat That Luang Stupa, golden in the sunlight, reaches skyward above the city. Does the local currency include coins? Find out!

See the most-stunning victory monument as well, built after freedom from the French occupation. And what a view from the top! Rod also shows us the architectural magnificence of the Arc Patuxai followed by a walk on the boardwalk along the Mae Kong river. And the sunset. Wow! Rod wraps up his journey on the Thai side of the river in Nong Khai.

What an adventure!


Located : on a curve of the Mekong River
Total area : 3,920 square kilometers
Population : 610,000
09 Districts : Chanthabouly, Sikhottabong, Xaysettha, Sisattanak, Naxaithong, Xaythany, Hadxaifong, Sangthong and Park Ngum
Capital : Vientiane.

According to myth, the city of Vientiane was created by the Naga Souvannanak. Vientiane was an ancient city whose territories covered both banks of the Mekong River. The first name of Vientiane was “Ban Nong Khanthae Phiseuanam” village, which later became “Vientiane” town under the leadership of the first Governor, Bourichan or Phraya Chanthabouly Pasitthisak, between 430-120 B.C.
In 1357 King Fa Ngoum held a grandiose celebration for the great victory of the unification of all Lao territories enhancing his prestige and power over the nobility throughout the Lane Xang Kingdom and the neighboring kingdoms. It was organized in the Pak Pasak area in present day Vientiane.

In 1560, King Saysettha moved from Luang Prabang to declare Vientiane as the capital city of the Lane Xang kingdom, naming it “Nakorn Chanthabouly Sitta tanakhanahood Outtama Rajathany”

During the reign of King Souliyavongsa Thamikarat in the 17th century, Vientiane grew to become one of the most developed civilizations. The city was the center of administration for politics, socio-economics and culture. The kings were brave, clever and kind and people were happy. The palaces were very beautiful, looking like golden houses standing along the bank of the Mekong River.

However, Vientiane was burnt down by Siames troops in 1828, and divided into two cities. The city on the right side of the Mekong River became part of Siam and the city on the left side remained part of Laos. At present, Vientiane is a smaller city, only half of its former size.

In the years of 2009 and 2010; two great historical events take place in Vientiane. In 2009 we hosted the 25th annual SEA Games and in 2010 we held a celebration of the 450th anniversary of the foundation of Vientiane as the Capital (1560-2010). To prepared for the above auspicious events Vientiane people have continued developing the city to be peaceful, clean, green, charming, light and civilized.

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May 17, 2013 · 2:12 am

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