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“No wow feature but a sound spirituality”

Great Sacred Stupa (Pha That Luang)
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Vientiane City Day Tour and Buddha Park Visit with Lunch
Ranked #4 of 84 things to do in Vientiane
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Owner description: A 24-carat, 45-meter high Buddhist shrine.
Reviewed November 26, 2013

This is probably the furthest you would want to cycle out of town and it is up a slight incline which you would notice on a bicyle. Considerably further out than the 'Arc de Triomphe' but you can see the top of the Golden Stupa from far away.

Now for a start you need a map if you are going to see some of the sights of this smallest city. If you have not purchased a map before you come (and we recommend you do), get to the tourist information office in Lane Xang Avenue on the South Eastern side. It is not easy to see but look for the classic 'western' "i" sign on the extended awning. It is part of a parade on Hatsady Road. They speak English, are helpful and will give you free advice and maps. Actually you can see the 'Arc de Triomphe -(Patuxay) from here.

Returning to our report upon The Great Sacred Stupa, we took a tuk tuk rather than a bicycle and the good thing is because of the narrow width of the vehicle, we were driven within a 100 metres of the entrance. It is a 5000 kip entrance fee per person for 'foreigners' but we think well worth it. The building are rather worn in their gilt cover and patchy but once inside you walk around a quadrangle with the stupa in the centre.

There is something very soothing about walking on a patch of grass. Even better walk inside the galleries around the 4 edges. They are empty of rows of Buddha statues and this allows you to walk and pray in peace unobstructed in the shade. Within these 'prayer galleries' -(cloisters) - you see a pattern of small holes in the external walls which allows you to look out to the world beyond if you want to.

We much preferred walking on the grass and on all 4 sides there are one shrine per side where people pray and leave their offering to their God. Behind each shrine there was a locked gate and further steep steps leading further up the stupa but as we reported no-one was allowed to do this because the gates are locked most of the time.

Do not expect beautiful painting and buildings in pristine condition but expect to experience tranquillity here and your thoughts turning heavenward and the purpose of time whilst journeying through life.

Also expect the sense of mild achievement at your journey here 'off the beaten track'. Now you have seen something other people do not often see and wonder at why it was that you had to travel this far to learn something you so much wanted to 'find' at home! We are talking about 'a connection' with the divine being.

We really enjoyed watching fervent Buddhists going about their devotions.

We left admiring the gilt set against a blue sky.

We think you would be here 30 minutes only as it is small. This place is not wheelchair accessible and I think little children running around would not be welcome but if they are old enough to stay with the Mums ask at the door whether you can take your buggies in as this place is manageable for you.

You have your map now and note with interest some street scenes on you way back to town. It is mostly downhill but too far to walk!

We did not see toilets but they might be there and there are a few street meat vendors (kebabs) back where the tuk tuks wait!

Be blessed.

Chris and Anna

Thank Chris D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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563 - 567 of 1,249 reviews

Reviewed November 18, 2013

This is not a very beautiful or active stupas with locals or monks. Part of city tour that has little worth. Not sure who this large stupa is supposed to appeal to

1  Thank clarkelovetotravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 10, 2013

It´s a bit outside (so we took the motorbike again), but on Your way You pass by the "Patuxai" (short stop) and Pha Tha Luang is definitely worth visiting. It´s a rather holy place and You should walk around the two adacent monasterys too, "Vat Tha Luang Tai" and "Vat Tha Luang Neua" too.

Thank mario353535
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 7, 2013

it's a must see place in Vientiane city tour. you can easy to get here by tok tok and quite cheap rather trying to find cab. it's very difficult to find a cab to go around in Vientiane. Your photos of this place will be more beautiful if they are taken in sunrise or sunset.

Thank TravelSense-Asia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 6, 2013

This is the Laos national symbol, It is even featured on the 50 000 KIP note, so it is something they are proud of.
Best way to get there is to rent a bike, about 15-20 minutes cycling from the old town where most the guesthouses are. Bikes are cheap, only 10000 KIP.

The area is beautiful, not just because of the Sacred Stupa, but also because of the massive temples and ornamental buildings surrounding it. There is a small food market that you have to pass by to get to the square of the sacred stupa. Good place to get some quick food, and a beer to enjoy while watching the stupa.
Get to the Stupa around sunset, the golden colours are much more beautiful at that time.

You can pay 5000 Kip for entry to the Stupa, but not really necessary as we found that we enjoyed seeing it from a distance more than seeing it up close.

1  Thank Stiigen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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