PATUXAY MONUMENT – THE VICTORY GATE OF VIENTIANE
Patuxay (or Patuxai/Patousai/Patusai) is a monument in the center of Vientiane, Laos resembling the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. However, the monument mostly follows Laotian architecture with various mythical creatures decoration. The word “Patuxai” means Victory Gate or Gate of Triumph. This is undoubtedly one of the most noticeable landmark of Vientiane.
The monument’s construction took place somewhere between 1957 and 1968. Its purpose is to dedicate to Laotian who fought for the country’s independence under French dominance.
There are four large arch gateways on four corners of Patuxay. Despite being inspired by the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, the monument remains significantly Laos style, especially on the top and decoration. Beside, the arches’ ceilings decoration is Laos religious ornaments such as depictions of three-headed elephant Erawan, kinnaree or the Hindu Gods Brahma and Vishnu.
View on the top of the Arches
Tourists can climb a stairway to the top of the Arch of Patuxay passing through 7 floors of offices and vendors selling souvenirs, drinks and snacks. On top of Patuxay, there are five towers adorned with flower motifs. Those towers represent five Buddhist principles: flexibility, thoughtful amiability, honesty, honor and prosperity. Next to that, the spiral stairway in the middle of the tower leads to the top of the monument where the observation deck stands. It offer visitors an exceptional view of Vientiane town and Mekong river.
The tower is in the middle of Patuxai park. In front of each tower, there is a pond. The most impressive view of Patuxai is probably at night.
In conclusion, Patuxay compound is a must-see place for tourists when visit Vientiane, along with Pha That Luang, Wat Si Saket, etc. More than the splendors in the compound, tourist will also find its traditional value that Laotian preserved for centuries. Therefore, visiting Patuxai will be a wonderful experience.
Opening time and Entry ticket:
Opening time: 8:oo – 16:30 (Monday – Friday), 8:oo – 17:00 (Saturday & Sunday)
Entrance ticket: 5,000 Kip (~US$ 0.6, see Lao currency Kip) to climb up to the top.
How to get to the monument:
Patuxay stands in the center of Vientiane, at the end of Lane Xang Avenue. Thus, visitors can reach the monument on foot easily from any of the town attractions. Actually hiring a tuk tuk is not a bad idea, price is around 20,000 Kip depending on distance.