Laos’ Patuxai Gate – a ‘Monster of Concrete’?
Above photo : Patuxai Gate, Vientiane.
No visit to Vientiane is complete without a visit to the impressive Patuxai Gate.
Built from stolen concrete destined for a new airport during the Vietnam War, this Arc De Triomphe-style building is a landmark of the city. It commemorates those who died in the struggle for independence from France (ironically using American money and cement).
I think it’s a magnificent building, although on a recent visit, I was amused to see the ‘helpful’ explanatory sign on the monument, which tells people how unimpressive it is.
“From a closer distance, it appears even less impressive, Like a monster of concrete.”
I mention Patuxai gate in my Backpacker/Vietnam War crossover novel, BACK, but not in such an unflattering light, when my hapless backpackers visit Vietniane before heading down to the tri-border region on their ill-fated trip to the Ho Chi Minh Trail.
See the trailer for our new film, M.I.A. A Greater Evil. Set in the jungles of Laos and Vietnam, the film deals with the possible fate of US servicemen left behind after the US pulled out of the Vietnam War.
For POWs and MIAs left behind in Laos, see also:
© Peter Alan Lloyd
BACK Parts 1 and 2:
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