Solo Overland Backpacking Trip to Thailand and Laos – Part 17: Patuxai, Vientiane

Previously: Part 16 – A Walk Along Avenue Lane Xang, Vientiane

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Still Day 5: Friday, 30 August 2013

The moment I saw Patuxai, I was so eager for two reasons. First, I have never known about this monument until I decided to visit Laos. Secondly, it resembles the Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile in Paris and being someone who has never been to Paris, I could brag to my friends who had been to Paris “But have you been to the Patuxai?”.

Sampai-sampai je Patuxai, aku teruja atas dua sebab. Pertama, aku tak pernah tahu pun kewujudan monumen ni sampailah aku ambil keputusan nak ke Laos. Kedua, monumen ni macam Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile, jadi kalau ada orang cakap “Aku dah sampai Arc de Triomphe”, aku boleh tanya “Tapi, kau dah sampai Patuxai?”. Hahaha. Sungguh kiasu di situ.

Nung and I walked towards Patuxai, the big arc situated on a huge roundabout. She helped to take my photo and I helped her to snap hers. Then, both of us walked to the entrance. Yes, we can actually climb Patuxai, which will offer great views of the city. At least, that was what Lonely Planet told me in the book.

Nung dan aku jalan menuju ke Patuxai. Dia tolong ambil gambar aku, lepas tu aku tolong ambil gambar dia. Seiring dan sejalan kitorang pergi ke pintu masuk. Ya, boleh naik kot Patuxai ni sampai atas. Sekurang-kurangnya, itulah yang aku diberitahu dalam buku Lonely Planet yang aku baca.

I wandered around and saw many people sitting beneath Patuxai. The arch looked beautiful with all the ornaments including the kinnari (half-female and half-bird), a mythological creature in Laotians’ culture, and some light colours being painted on the wall. However, it looked unfinished as many parts were not painted and were bare cements.

Aku jalan-jalan jap kat sekeliling. Ramai orang dok melepak bawah Patuxai. Redup kot kan. Kat Patuxai ni, walaupun nampak macam tak siap lagi, tapi cantik. Ada ukiran dan patung kinnari, seekor (seorang?) makhluk lagenda Laos yang mana rupanya separuh perempuan separuh burung. Ha acaner tu?

Patuxai means the Gate of Victory, is a war monument which was built between 1957 and 1968 to remember those who had struggled in order to achieve independence from the French. It has viewing platforms on top of it and on the ground, there are ponds which give some sort of tranquility while hanging out with family and friends. Nung told me that the building was still unfinished, which explains my earlier thought.

Patuxai ni maksudnya Gerbang Kemenangan, monumen untuk mengenang jasa pahlawan yang gugur menentang penjajah Perancis. Macam Tugu Negara kita lah ni. Ada platform untuk tengok pemandangan sekitar bandar dari atas. Kolam pun ada kat bawah. Memang bestlah kalau lepak bersama keluarga dan teman. Hehe. Nung bagitahu aku, memang bangunan ni tak siap lagi pun.

After paying the entrance fee, we climbed the stairs to go to the viewing platform. On every floor, there were vendors selling souvenirs and stuff. I did not buy any since it was my first day here and I was more interested in viewing the place.

Lepas bayar tiket masuk, kami pun menapak panjat tangga nak ke platform tinjau. Di setiap tingkat ada je orang jual cenderamata. Tapi, aku tak beli pun sebab aku lebih berminat nak tengok bangunan ni.

Upon reaching the viewing platform, Nung and I separated, as I wandered around to see the view of Vientiane, the capital city of Laos.

Sampai platform tinjau, aku dan Nung berpisah sekejap sementara aku jalan sorang-sorang nak tengok pemandangan kota Vientiane, ibu negara Laos.

Do you want to see how Vientiane looks like from the Patuxai?

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To be continued – Part 18

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Patuxai is a war monument built in the centre of Vientiane with Laotian-style architecture. It is situated at the end of Lane Xang Avenue. The entrance fee to the viewing platform is 3,000 kip [as of August 2013].

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