For many years Laos was under French rule. This is no longer the case, but they have taken inspiration from their former rulers and built their own Arc de Triomphe. They call it Patuxay which means Victory Gate.
This is known by some as the vertical runway as it was built using concrete from the US destined for a new runway. It was never finished (although the ceiling looks ornate) and looks better from a distance than close up. The Lao even call it a concrete monster (hence the title of this post).
It does differ from the French Arc de Triomphe by having four arches rather than two.
Whilst it is interesting enough to look at I recommend climbing up the stairs inside as the view from the top levels are quite good.
As you get further up inside you get a floor surrounding the top of the dome, then a further one on the top level which goes over the top of the dome and you have no choice but to go through at least a corner of them!
As Mr M was taking countless photos with his camera I managed to have a browse and found these little beauties:
Each heart is actually quite 3d:
I intend to make them into a simple, but hopefully elegant necklace and matching earrings when home. They cost 15000 LK each, but I got them down to 35000 LK for all three. I dislike having to bargain for things as I’m never quite sure what a fair price is. In Laos generally I seemed to end up paying 2/3rds of the original asking price.