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 Laos's capital.

Located about five minutes drive from Vientiane's town area, this beautiful arch stands right between the town's main roads at the Patuxay Park (Pah-too-chai).

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

Patuxay Arch in Vientiane

Getting to the park is relatively easy as all tuk-tuk drivers know of this famous arch, and it is pretty close. Also, it is on the way to the Golden Stupa or That Luang Temple, so you have to pass this considerable arch.

Alternatively, take a nice long morning walk here or 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 a concrete staircase leads 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 go to the top, you will also see some small souvenir shops.

Once at the top, you get an excellent birds-eye view of the area. Sadly, the weather was terrible when I was there, so there were 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 day's Laotian government 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, dubbed the Champs Elysees of Vientiane, should be crowned with its own version of the Arc de Triomphe. 

Patuxay is translated from the Lao language, where Patuu means "door" or "gateway", while Xai comes from Sanskrit Jaya, meaning "victory".

Video of Patuxay Arch

Vientiane Victory MonumentThe main area of the Victory Monument.

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

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 to this evening's event.

In the rearview mirror of my bike.

After the arch visit, I jumped back on my rented motorbike 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: The musical fountain starts.
Ticket price to go up the Patuxay Arch: 3,000 KIP


During my visit here, 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, one of the must-visit places here.

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

Best if you rent a motorbike in Vientiane to move around; you can visit the Golden Stupa or many other places. Patuxay Arch in Vientiane is one of the fantastic structures one must see in Laos.

Malaysia Asia

Blogging since 2007, but writing online since 1997. I belong to the 1st generation of worldwide bloggers, which is of course old-school. Since 2008, I created Malaysia Asia and this travel, flood, gadget and lifestyle blog has won numerous physical awards from tourism boards around Malaysia. (Not those online awards). After 12 years of blogging, I have semi-retired and now blog about things I like, do product reviews and enjoy life. My work has been featured in Lonely Planet, CNN Travel, Yahoo Travel, Wall Street Journal, and many other international publications. Find out more about me and thank you.


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