There are many cultural attractions in Laos, of both ancient and recent history. When planning an extended visit to the country, these can serve as one of the ways to plan your trip. A couple of them require travel to reach. But you can see most of them in the capital city of Vientiane.  

Ancient History

Three of the most world-famous cultural attractions in Laos are part of the ancient history of the country. 

In central Laos, on the plain of the Xiangkhoang Plateau, lies the Plain of Jars. These are thousands of large stone jars that were determined by archeologists to be part of the ancient Lao’s burial practices. They are scattered over a wide area and are a popular tourist attraction.

Wat Phu (or Vat Phou) is another stunningly beautiful example of the Buddhist temples that have existed in Laos since the 5th century. It is located on the southern tip of the country and has been designate as a UNESCO heritage site. It is a part of the Khmer Empire, which included Angkor in Cambodia to the southwest. 

The third and most important part of Laos’s ancient history can be found in Vientiane. Pha That Luang is the most revered temple among Lao Buddhists. It serves as a national symbol, and most Laos try to visit at least once in their life. It’s soaring golden stupa dates from the mid-16th century, and it’s the most popular attraction in the city for both tourists and Lao citizens. 

Recent History

Patuxay Monument is located in a public park in central Vientiane. It was built to commemorate the Lao soldiers who died in the struggle against the French occupation. Construction of the monument was completed in 1958, and it somewhat ironically resembles the Arc de Triomphe of Paris.

COPE Visitor Centre serves as a reminder that during the Vietnam war, Laos was the most bombed country on earth, and there are still landmines in the country that kill and maim many Lao citizens every year. A visit to the centre in Vientiane helps support the work they’re doing supplying prosthetics to the victims of these landmines.