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Trip Planner Asia  /  Laos  /  Vientiane Prefecture

Vientiane Prefecture

Parks · Observation Decks · Sacred & Religious Sites
Vientiane or Viengchan is a prefecture of Laos, located in the north-west of the country. The national capital, Vientiane, is located in the prefecture. The prefecture was created in 1989, when it was split off from Vientiane Province.Located on a curve of the Mekong River, and bordering Thailand, the prefecture covers an area of 3920km2. Vientiane city was built in the 16th century under the reign of King Saysethathirath. The older part of the city has ancient temples, museums, monuments and parks.Protected areas in the prefecture include Phou Khao Khouay National Protected Area, Phou Phanang National Protected Area and Houay Ngang Forest Reserve, a good area for bird and butterfly watching.HistoryThe great Laotian epic, the Phra Lak Phra Lam, claims that Prince Thattaradtha founded the city when he left the legendary Lao kingdom of Muong Inthapatha Maha Nakhone because he was denied the throne in favor of his younger brother. Thattaradtha founded a city called Maha Thani Si Phan Phao on the western banks of the Mekong River; this city was said to have later become today's Udon Thani, Thailand. One day, a seven-headed Naga told Thattaradtha to start a new city on the eastern bank of the river opposite Maha Thani Si Phan Phao. The prince called this city Chanthabuly Si Sattanakhanahud; which was said to be the predecessor of modern Vientiane.
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Places to visit in Vientiane Prefecture