Three Wheelers in South East Asia

Vientiane, Laos
Jumbo driver waits for passengers in the capital of Laos.

Jumbo in Laos

Hanoi, Vietnam
Taking a cyclo is a popular and convenient way of exploring Hanoi Old Quarter.

Cyclo in Vietnam

Melaka, Malaysia
Excessively decorated trishaws blasting loud music are impossible to miss in Melaka.

Trishaw in Malaysia

Pha That Luang

No trip to Vientiane can be complete without a visit to the Pha That Luang, a majestic monument with great religious and historical importance to the Lao people. Images of the national symbol can be found on the banknotes, coat of arms and more recently on the logo of the 25th Southeast Asia Games which will be held for the first time in Laos this coming December. The construction of Pha That Luang began in 1566 by the order of King Setthatthirat when he moved the capital from Luang Prabang to Vientiane. The monument suffered extensive damage during the Thai invasion in 1828. It was later brought back to its former glory by two major restorations conducted by the French in 1900 and between 1931-1935.

Pha That Lang 1

Pha That Lang 2

Pha That Lang 3


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Victory Gate of Vientiane

The Patuxay or Victory Gate of Vientiane was built in 1962 and commemorates those who lost their lives in wars. It is the Arc de Triomphe of the East to many people. Some also refer to it as the vertical runway because the monument is said to be built with the US fund meant for airport construction. Most unexpectedly, the official signboard (scroll down for Picture 3) actually compares the prominent landmark in the Laotian capital to a Monster of Concrete. This level of modesty is unusual and it certainly does not do justice to the Patuxay. The Victory Gate was formerly known as the Anaosavali, which apparently means “memory” or “monument”, before 1975 during the monarchy era.

Patuxay 2

Patuxay 2

Patuxay 3


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Spirit City by the Mekong

Spirit City, or Xieng Khuan in Lao, is the brainchild of Bunleua Sulilat, a religious figure with interesting role of yogi-priest-shaman. Built in 1958, the park features a sizable collection of Buddhist and Hindu sculptures, some of which appear to be unorthodox, if not bizarre, in design but there is definitely no lack of creativity and artistry. Xieng Khuan is located 24 km south of central Vientiane and can be reached by taking a bus (~45 min journey) from Talat Sao Bus Terminal in the city centre.

Xieng Khuan