Vientiane was named as the capital city when Lao became a french procteturate between the 19 and 20 centuries, and it remains so under communist rule today.
Xieng Khuan or Buddha Park was designed and built in 1958 by Luang Pu (Venerable Grandfather), Bunleua Sulilat, a yogi-priest-shaman who merged hindu and buddhist philosophy, mythology and iconography into a cryptic whole.
This pumpkin-shaped concrete monument in the grounds has three levels joined by interior spiral stairways.
They include statues of Shiva, Vishnu, Arjuna, Avalokiteshvara, Buddha and just about every other Hindu or Buddhist deity imaginable.
Buddhist at Wat Ong Teu Mahawihan, the Temple of the Heavy Buddha, one of the most important in Vientiane.
Monks from all over the country come to the Buddhist Institute to study Dhamma (the Buddha's teachings).