Stop by Vientiane’s Holiest Shrine
Pha That Luang in the east of Vientiane is the country's most holy Buddhist monument, as it is said to house a relic from the Buddha himself.
It was constructed in 1566, on the site of a 13rd century Khmer temple, and has been successively ransacked and reconstructed ever since. The temple was last destroyed in the 19th century during the Siamese invasion, but was later restored.
Today, Pha That Luang's gilded stupa is an important symbol of all things Laos, appearing on the national seal and hosting the country's most important festival, Bun That Luang, held over three days beginning on the full moon of the 12th lunar month (around November).
The stupa is closed to visitors on Monday; visitors to Pha That Luang might also want to check out two neighboring temples as an alternative, Wat That Luang Neua and Wat That Luang Tai.
Address: Th 23 Singha, Vientiane (location on Google Maps)
Admission: Open every day from 8am-12noon, 1pm to 4pm; LAK10,000 entrance fee; sarong rental LAK5,000.