The Patuxai Monument in Vientiane

The Patuxai Monument in Vientiane is one of the central spots in the capital of Lao. It was built in the 50s to 60s and it looks like a copy of the Parisian Arc de Triomphe. But if you take a closer look, you will see that it’s really a unique building with Laotian style.

Patuxai monument in Vientiane, Lao

Ceiling of Patuxai monument in Vientiane, Lao

For a couple of Kip (I forgot how much, but it’s really not more than a few cent) you can climb the Patuxai Monument up to the top. It’s not a hard climb, I remember I’ve climbed the ‘real’ Arc de Triomphe in Paris once and it was much worse…

Inside the Patuxai Monument

Anyway, you will walk up inside the building and if you need a break, you can stop at two floors on the way up. There are different vendors selling the usual souvenir stuff.

Buying souvenirs at Patuxai monument in Vientiane, Lao

This floor for example reminded me a lot of Russian style department stores with their glass vitrines and high ceilings. One of the few places I found throughout Lao that really remembered me that I’m in a communist country!

Shopping at Patuxai monument in Vientiane, Lao

Don’t miss the lovely details when going up like this romantic staircase!

Staircase inside Patuxai monument in Vientiane, Lao

And those window grids – amazing work!

Top view from Patuxai monument in Vientiane, Lao

On top of the Patuxai monument

Some of the main roads in Vientiane city lead to the Patuxai Monument, so this is a good opportunity to watch the traffic in Vientiane which is very different from other South East Asian capital you might know – it’s much calmer.

Enjoy the view and stroll around to get a good impression of the building. Best time for a visit is the afternoon, the crowds are gone and the light of the beginning sunset makes a visit to the top of the Patuxai Monument extra special.

Top floor of Patuxai monument in Vientiane, Lao

Sellers inside Patuxai monument in Vientiane, Lao

Door detail of Patuxai monument in Vientiane, Lao

How to get there

The Patuxai Monument is located a bit outside of the city centre. From the Old Town, where all the hotels are, it’s approximately 20 minutes by bike. You can rent a bike all over the Old Town. Or you take a tuktuk.

For more information about Vientiane see this post.

I prepared myself for my journey to Lao with this travel guide: Stefan Loose Lao (German only)*

vientiane laos


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