Previously: Part 21 – Cycling in Vientiane
Still Day 6: Saturday, 31 August 2013
Everywhere I went to, I saw signboards with the golden stupa as the background. Turned out, it is the national monument of Laos. It is the Pha That Luang.
Ke mana-mana aku pergi dalam Vientiane ni, mesti dekat signboard ada gambar satu stupa keemasan. Rupa-rupanya, itu monumen kebangsaan Laos. Itulah Pha That Luang.
I was eager to have a look of Pha That Luang because this monument is not like any other stupa that I have seen throughout my travels. This monument, which was built in the 3rd century, has distinct features where it looks like a pyramid and the base is square in shape instead of the usual round.
Aku memang teruja sangat nak tengok Pha That Luang sebab monumen ni bukan macam stupa lain yang aku pernah tengok. Biasa stupa bulat dasar dia, tapi Pha That Luang yang dibina dalam abad ke-3 ni dasar dia segi empat dan bentuk dia lebih macam piramid.
Apart from that, it has an amazing history where it was reported that this monument had been plundered several times by the Burmese, Siamese and Chinese. This amazing structure was only reconstructed after the World War II.
Selain tu, sejarah stupa ni pun menarik. Pha That Luang dah berkali-kali dimusnahkan oleh pihak Burma, Siam dan China sepanjang usia dia. Lepas Perang Dunia Kedua baru dibina semula.
As I cycled towards Pha That Luang, I saw many street vendors selling food and beverages. It was confusing to cycle around Pha That Luang since the whole compound is gated with a thick wall and I got lost several times trying to navigate myself inside the complex.
Masa aku mengayuh menghala ke Pha That Luang, aku nampak banyak orang jual makanan dengan air tepi jalan. Tadi mengayuh naik bukit sebelum sampai sini, memang rasa lapar sangat. Malangnya, hampir kesemua penjual makanan tu jual ‘Cadbury’. Lol. Aku pun pusing-pusing keliling cari pintu masuk sebab keseluruhan kawasan Pha That Luang ni dipagar dengan tembok tinggi.
I was so excited when I saw Pha That Luang in front of my eyes, but my excitement was cut short when I realized that the main entrance to the stupa was closed and I could only see the beauty from the outside.
Aku teruja sangat masa nampak Pha That Luang depan mata. Malangnya, pintu untuk masuk ke Pha That Luang tu ditutup. Sabar jelah. Tengok dari luar pun jadilah.
Soon, I cycled around the huge complex before decided to exit and continue my cycling tour around Vientiane.
Lepas tu, aku pun mengayuh basikal aku keliling kawasan kompleks ni, nak usha tengok apa lagi ada sebelum aku keluar dari kompleks ni untuk teruskan misi berbasikal keliling Vientiane. Cewah! Haha.
If Laos considered Pha That Luang as their national monument, I would say the Petronas Twin Towers are the national monuments of Malaysia. What is the national monument of your country?
To be continued – Part 23
Pha That Luang is situated at Ban Nongbone which is at the centre of Vientiane, Laos. From Lane Xiang Avenue, head towards Patuxai and turn right at the roundabout before entering Nongbone Road. Proceed straight ahead and Pha That Luang is at the end of the road, situated near the National Assembly.
Pha That Luang is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The entrance fee is 3,000 kip [as of August 2013].