Vientiane, Laos



Nearby Attractions

Buddha Park (Xieng Khuan)
About 24 km from the city and 6 km to the east of the Friendship Bridge.
Buddha Park is a bizarre outdoor collection of huge concrete sculptures of Buddhist and Hindu deities as well as real and imaginary beasts. The park was built in 1958 by mystic Luang Pu Bunleua Sulilat. He left Laos after the communist takeover and in 1978 established a similar but more impressive park (Sala Keoku) across the river in Nong Khai, Thailand. The reclining Buddha is especially impressive.

Save on your hotel -

The park is worth visiting on the way into or out of Laos if you're crossing the Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge, as this will save you a nearly 50 km round trip if you visit from and return to Vientiane. You can hire a tuk-tuk for the entire Vientiane-Buddha Park-Friendship Bridge (or vice versa) trip, but taking public bus No. 14 is much cheaper. No. 14 leaves Talat Sao Bus Terminal to Xieng Khuan at 15 to 20 minutes intervals. The fare is 6,000 kip one-way, and it is no problem to flag down a bus on the way back or to the Friendship Bridge. The buses can be dilapidated minibuses without air-conditioning or new air-conditioned coaches. You may be required to change buses at the Friendship Bridge to another bus (also No. 14), in which case the fare will be 4,000 kip to the bridge and 2,000 kip for the remaining distance. The conductor will advise accordingly.

Buddha Park by GuillaumeG

National Ethnic Cultural Park
About 20 km south of Vientiane (near the Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge).
On the main road (Thanon Thadeua), just before the access road to the Friendship Bridge branches off, is the National Ethnic Cultural Park. The park houses typical homes from various ethnic groups in Laos. You can only view the houses from the outside unless a custodian unlocks some of them. There also are some statues of dinosaurs and a rather dismal small "zoo". Generally the only activities at the park are the kiosks selling drinks and snacks. However, there are said to be the occasional cultural shows. Tour operators often take their guests here before or after a visit to Buddha Park. Anyway, it is not a place to go out of your way to visit.

Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge by Media lib

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