Patuxai is an impressive war monument that sits in the center of Laos’ capital city, Vientiane. The word “Patuxai” translates to Victory Gate, and the French influence on Laos is quite apparent in it’s design, despite the typical Lao architecture. As I walked along Avenue Lang Xang from the Presidential Palace, I couldn’t help but feel like I was walking along an Asian version of Champs Elysees towards the Arc de Triomphe. There are a lot of similarities, but the monument definitely stands as a symbol of Laos’ independence.
For 3000kip ($0.35) you can climb the stairs to the top of Patuxai for amazing views out across Vientiane. Many of the main government buildings are located in the area and the monument is surrounded in beautiful gardens and fountains. I noticed that locals often come here in the late afternoon to walk around and socialize near the fountains, so it’s a great place for people watching.
I took this photo around mid morning as I walked from the Mekong riverfront (where most of the guest houses are located), and I was pleased that I captured a person walking along in front of Patuxai to show the true size of the monument.