Patuxai is one of Vientiane’s most noticeable landmarks. The impressive arch is found in the center of Vientiane on the end of Lane Xang Avenue, the road that leads to the Presidential Palace.
Patuxai, which translates to “Victory Gate” is a massive concrete monument with a wide avenue leading to it similar in style to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France. The Patuxai or Patuxay was built in the 1960’s as a memorial for those who gave their lives serving their country in several wars.
On all of its four sides is a large arched gateway. Although the design is clearly inspired by the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, the upper part and decoration is typical Laos style. The arches’ ceilings contain Laos style ornamentations, like depictions of the Hindu Gods Brahma and Vishnu, as well as mythological creatures as kinnaree and the three headed elephant Erawan.'
Visitors can climb a stairway to the top passing 7 floors with offices, souvenir shops and vendors selling drinks and snacks. On top of the Patuxai are 5 Laos style towers that are adorned with flower motifs. The four corner towers and the larger central tower are topped with a golden finial. A spiral stairway in the central tower leads to the observation deck on top of the monument which offers great views of the town of Vientiane and the Mekong river.
The monument is located in the center of the well kept Patuxai park with lots of flowers, fountains and benches. On each of its four sides is a pond. A small Sala in the park houses the World Peace Gong, installed in 2008. The Patuxai is particularly impressive when it is illuminated at night.