12 imagesLuang Prabang is the capital city of Luang Prabang Province in north central Laos. It is located at the confluence of the Nam Khan and Mekong Rivers about 300 km north of Vientiane. The city was formerly the capital of a kingdom of the same name. Until the communist takeover in 1975, it was the royal capital and seat of government of the Kingdom of Laos. The old town centre is declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
43 imagesVientiane is the capital and largest city of Laos, on the banks of the Mekong River near the border with Thailand. Vientiane became the capital in 1563 due to fears of a Burmese invasion. Vientiane was the administrative capital during French rule and, due to economic growth in recent times, is now the economic centre of Laos. Pha That Luang is a gold-covered large Buddhist stupa in the centre of Vientiane. Since it's initial establishment, suggested to be in the 3rd century, the stupa has undergone several reconstructions as recently as the 1930s due to foreign invasions of the area. It is generally regarded as the most important national monument in Laos and a national symbol.