Els Slots (The Netherlands):
The Grand Shrine (Pha That Luang) of Vientiane is a huge gold-covered stupa. It consists of 3 levels, surrounded by a cloister, plus a 45 meter high spire. It's the most important national monument of Laos, and that�s probably what lead to its spot on the Tentative List. It was built in 1566 over an old stupa holding a holy Buddhist relic.
The stupa is located a few km's northeast of the city center of the capital of Laos - too far to walk in the heat. I took a tuktuk there. The driver suggested to wait so he could have the return trip as well - obviously knowing that a visit doesn't take long (and also of course preferring the tourist price for a ride). To an outsider like me it is a very weird object: an enormous glittering object under the radiating Laotian sun. Almost a golden spaceship. Entrance fee is 5000 kip (0,45 EUR). For that you can walk around the cloister and on the first level on the stupa.
Chances on WH status are very low I think: it is mainly a monument of national importance.
Date posted: March 2011
Have you been to That Luang de Vientiane? Share your experiences!