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Vientiane, Vientiane

Laos, Asia: The golden That Louang rises above Vientiane, Laos.
Laos's insider take:

Vientiane is a sleepy town, though hectic by comparison with the rest of tranquil Laos. Noodle shops, gilded temples, and rice paddies are interspersed with French colonial buildings (Laos became a French colony in 1893 and only gained independence in 1954). Unsurprisingly in a country where 60 percent of the population are practicing Buddhists, most of the sights here are religious buildings: the monastery, Wat Sisaket, with over 6,800 Buddha images; Wat Simuang, the city's most popular temple and monastery; and That Louang, Laos' most important religious building, best seen at sundown when the light reflects off its golden surface.

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