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Patuxay Arch in Vientiane Laos

Patuxay Arch Laos
The Patuxay in Vientiane or Arch de Triomphe is one of the top spots to see while visiting the capitol of Laos. Located about 5 minutes drive from the town area of Vientiane, this beautiful arch stands right in between the main roads of town at the Patuxay Park (Pah-too-chai).

It is also known as the Victory Monument or Victory Gate as it commemorates those who lost their lives in the war against the French.

Patuxay Arch

Getting to the park is quite easy as all tuk tuk drivers know of this famous arch and it is not too far. Also it is on the way to the Golden Stupa or That Luang Temple so you have to pass this huge arch.

Alternatively, you could take a nice long morning walk here or simply rent a motorcycle like I did to explore the city.

Info on Patuxay Arch in VientianeStory of the arch

The Patuxay project was started in 1962 and was finally completed in 1968. This arch has a four sided gateway and the overall height of the arch is seven stories high. The top of the arch is accessible and you can view the surrounding area from there.

Close up of the top

Getting up the arch is fairly simple as there is a concrete staircase leading up. You have to pay a ticket fee of 3,000 KIP to get up there and there is a small ticket counter at the bottom. As you make your way to the top, you will also see some small souvenir shops.

Once at the top, you get a good birds eye view of the area. Sadly when I was there, the weather was really bad so no pictures of that here.

Vientiane Patuxay ArchMusical fountain in the day

This entire project was built using American funds. The US government had given Laos money to build a new airport, however the Laotian government of the day used the money to build the monument instead. As a consequence it is sometimes referred to as the "vertical runway".

It was also much decided in the late 50s that Lane Xang Avenue which is dubbed the Champs Elysees of Vientiane, should be crowned with its own version of the Arc de Triomphe. 

Patuxay translated from the Lao language where Patuu means “door” or “gateway” while Xai came from Sanskrit Jaya meaning “victory”.

Video of Patuxay Arch

Vientiane Victory Monument Main area of the Victory Monument

One thing for sure is that you will see a lot of tourist at the Victory Monument as it is one of the main sites for tourism.

Even the locals will come here in the evenings to enjoy the beautiful musical fountain that is synchronized with the beat of local music being played. Sadly, I did not make it for this evening event.

In the rear view mirror of my bike

After the arch visit, I jumped back on my rented motor bike and headed back to town. Well, one more picture and I was completely satisfied.

On my next visit here, I will be making a night trip to this beautiful arch in Vientiane as I have heard that the sunset here is incredible. 

Patuxay Arch Opening Hours:

  • 8.00 am till 4.30 pm on weekdays
  • 8.00 am till 5.00 pm on weekends
  • After sundown: Musical fountain starts
Ticket price to go up the Patuxay Arch: 3,000 KIP

During my visit her,e I also made a daring bike ride to see the unique Buddha Park and on my way back to Vientiane, I stopped by the stunning Golden Stupa which is one of the must-visit places here.

While the capital city here is easy to move around, you can either take a slow walk to this place enjoying the everyday life of the locals here.

Best if you rent a motorbike in Vientiane to move around as from here, you can then visit the Golden Stupa or many of the other places in the area. Patuxay Arch in Vientiane is one of the amazing structures that one must visit when in Laos.


Unknown said...

that plaque with the story of the arch sounds so negative... as if a non-laotian wrote it...

CathJ said...


Malaysia Asia said...

Haha Ishan, so correct but then again, Laos recently opened its doors to tourism not too long ago. At least they have it in English.

Cath, it is. You should plan a trip there too.

CathJ said...

I will Jr..

Ow.. I nominate your blog at the NNawards.. ^_^

Borneo Falcon said...

Never knew there is a musical fountain there. It was not mentioned in my "Rough Guide" book

Malaysia Asia said...

Thank yo Cath :)

B.F, sadly I did not stay to see it too. But apparently from what someone told me, they play Lao music during the show.