That Dam is a huge stupa located in a roundabout in the center of Vientiane. It connects Rue Bartholonie and Rue Chanthakhoumane (two well-known streets). The stupa is surrounded by a small garden with a few benches. A worth seeing cultural attraction and a good place to relax a bit. Especially in the evening you can see some laotians hanging around here. That Dam is known as one of the most famous historical landmarks of Vientiane. Due to the weather and the historical events today it is fading and overgrown with vegetation. In the past the stupa was completely plastered but most of it has crumbled off.
History and legend of That Dam
The stupa was built sometime in the 16th century. An exact date isn’t known. This makes That Dam one of the few monuments still preserved from this period. Legend has it that the stupa was once completely covered in gold but the gold was taken in the 1820s when the Siamese invaded Laos. According to another legend That Dam is also inhabited by a seven-headed naga. The seven-headed naga is a serpent creature from Buddhist mythology. She is considered the protector of Vientiane.
How to get to That Dam
That Dam isn’t far from Patuxai Victory Monument. If you’re there anyway, it’s worth making a detour. In general, you can easily rattle off both sights at once. Just tell your driver to drive to Rue Bartholonie or Rue Chanthakhoumane. But basically that won’t be necessary. Almost every tuk tuk knows That Dam. After all, it is one of the major attractions in Vientiane. However, there is not that much to see. So, if you don’t want to relax, just tell your driver to wait a little and afterwards just head to another attraction.
What to do around That Dam
That Dam is relatively in the center, so you can easily get to other attractions. There are also several cafes and restaurants. If you don’t have a problem walking around, you should certainly find something. There are also some accommodations nearby. Including some good ones, which are really cheap.