Patuxay Monument Vientiane’s Own Arc de Triomphe

Patuxay

I finally get to visit Patuxay on November 10, 2008, the day before we visited Boun That Luang, my dad and I took the local bus from Paksan into Vientiane for a day, it was our first time being on a local bus by ourselves in Laos and it cost 25,000 kips ($2.95) per person, an almost 3 hours bus ride, then from Vientiane Bus terminal we took a local bus to TalatSao, which cost us 3,000 kips ($0.35) per person, and walked to Patuxay Monument.  These photos below are from different dates, let just say that whenever I’m in Vientiane and I’m near Patuxay, I had to stop and take the photo, might be that I’m afraid that I wouldn’t have enough photos to bring back.

I think I’ve made a mistake by taking my camera out to take photo as soon as I got there, when I went to buy the ticket, Lao people called it Pbee, I made sure I said it correctly and not to get it confused with the Thai Language, and she told me 6,000 kips ($0.71) for 2 people.  I looked at the Lao writing (good thing that I can read some Lao Language), and it said 2,000 kips ($0.24) for Khon Lao (Lao people), and in English 3,000 kips ($0.35) for foreigner, so I asked her, “You charged us for foreigner’s price, I thought Khon Lao are supposed to be 2,000 kips per person.” She looked at me, not a smile, then at my dad, who was smiling but didn’t say a word, and she asked us, “Khon Lao Bor?”, and I replied, “Yes, Khon Lao Pakse.” She looked skeptical, still no smile, and finally said “4,000 kips” ($0.47), I paid her, and my dad took the change and donated to the donation box near the entrance.

Patuxay

Many monuments represent abstract ideas of freedom and liberty, and stand proud to represent the city, and most became the place of tourist attraction. As for Laos, we have Patuxay Monument, which is well known as Vientiane’s own Arc de Triomphe. Patuxay Monument was formerly known as the Anousavary built in 1968, and it is dedicated to those who fought in the struggle for independence from France. The monument looks very much like the French Arc de Triomphe, but has a touch of Laotian Buddhist architectural style in term of the pointy tops that resemblance many designs that you would find in Buddhist Temples (Wat). It is also decorated with many kinnari figures, some half woman half bird.

Patuxay

Patuxay

Patuxay

Patuxay

Patuxay

Patuxay

Patuxay Patuxay

Inside is a souvenir shop, I bought a gift of silver lucky pigs sitting in a Lao long boat  for my second sister.

Patuxay

Patuxay Patuxay

Patuxay Patuxay

Patuxay

A narrow spiral staircase to go up to the top of Patuxay Monument.

Patuxay

Patuxay Patuxay

Patuxay

According wikipedia, The Patuxay was built using American funds. America had given Laos money to build a new airport. But in turn, Laos used the money to build the monument. Sometimes the Patuxay is called the “Vertical runway”.

Patuxay

View from Patuxay

The place is a tourist attraction area; you can climb up to the top for a good view of Vientiane. I’m surprised to learn from a Thai magazine that it is also a place where local teenagers hang out, the ground is busy and crowded on weekends. I’ve not been there myself on the weekend, but I’m sure they don’t dress in Lao classic style, but more modern. It is a place where young people meet, might be a place where future Laotian movie stars and models are waiting to be discovered.

Patuxay

Patuxay

View from Patuxay

View from Patuxay

View from Patuxay

View from Patuxay

View from Patuxay

The view from the ground is also beautiful.

View from patuxay

On December 3, 2008, we returned back to Laos and visited Patuxay again and this time they were cleaning the water fountain in front of the monument, and they would do this every 3 months.

Patuxay

Patuxay

The photo below is the Arc de Triomphe. It is a historical treasure in Paris, France. The arch honors those who fought for France, particularly during the Napoleonic Wars, and today includes the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The Patuxay Monument represents Laos’s independence from France, but ironically, it looks very much like the Arc de Triomphe, I’m wondering if it were intentionally designed that way.

Arc de Triumph (Champs Elysees) - Paris, France by rcmedia196903

Arc de Triumph (Champs Elysees) – Paris, France by rcmedia196903

12 thoughts on “Patuxay Monument Vientiane’s Own Arc de Triomphe

  1. Pingback: Wat Phra That Phoun in Vientiane « Nye Noona

  2. lynda, I think it’s how you look at it, to some it might still be crappy, there are still many undeveloped area, but I think it’s charming that way. As for me, I think when your heart is in the right place, then things works out for the best. I’d personally go back again, I’m glad that you like the photos.

  3. Did you see the Peace Gong on the other side of the fountain? I saw them working on it in October and it was on the news in early December.

    I must have missed you and your father by an hour or so. I walked from Wat Mixay to Patouxay after I walked to get my lunch at Sihom area. When I got to Patouxay the workers went to take their lunch break. It would have been something if you saw me walking toward you that day.

  4. Darly, I didn’t get to see the Peace Gong, I was there on November 10th, and again on December 3rd, maybe it’s because I didn’t look for it. Patuxay is a lot bigger and prettier than photos, one of the places that I had on my list to visit.

    Would be something if you’ve walked towards us, and recognized us in person.

  5. It’s okay. I took enough photos of the Peace Gong on December 3rd and will post them later at Lao Voices. It’s not hard to miss since it’s on the other end of the other fountain where the restroom is located.

  6. Ginger,

    I regret what I wrote, Crappy was a poor choice of words to describe it. I actually don’t think the view was crappy, it’s just not something I was not used to. Looking back, I did find the monument very beautiful. From the looks of things, I think the area has greatly improved and this time I won’t consider it “crappy” if I ever get the chance to go back.

    I love Laos. I miss Laos, especially Northern Laos. The hills, the plateaus, the vegetation, the mist hovering around the plateaus, the rice fields, I miss all of it.

    It’s funny how I came here to wish you a HAPPY New Year and I just went on about how I miss Laos.

    Again, HAPPY NEW YEAR!

  7. Thanks Darly, it’d be interesting to see.

    lynda, must be the cultural shock like most people have experienced. As for me I don’t have much of that, might be that I saw and read a lot about Laos prior to going, and emotionally prepared for it, but still certain things that I take for granted here, such as toilet paper, I find myself not getting used to how the locals take care of their personal business, and had to carry one with me where ever I go.

    I also love the country side of Laos, many areas are still undeveloped and very pretty.

  8. Pingback: Laos Memory Lane: Vientiane « Nye Noona

  9. Pingback: Over Ridiculously Priced Pair of Rainbow Sandals Update | Nye Noona

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