Laos is a landlocked country dominated by its borders. Used as a base for military purposes and as a bypass to its more prominent neighbours, it is a country not many people stop to think about. Its architecture has thus been developed by many people, the Vietnamese with their Chinese influence, the French with their Parisian influence and its historical traditional homes.
Laos and the Chinese
Laos has developed most if its religious architecture from its neighbouring Thailand and Vietnam. The wat, a Buddhist temples, and the that, a Buddhist stupa built to hold religious objects. Lao structures have traditionally been constructed of wood, which has often not stood the test of time and therefore there are not as many around or the remains are left to be seen.
Laos and its Traditional Housing
In rural areas, traditional houses, built of wood and raised off the ground on stilts are common. The houses had steep thatched roofs and verandas to keep all the livestock and family in one place. These houses are not just houses but a hub for everything to happen, and it does. However, in urban areas, modern style houses are more common. Lao traditional houses are slowly disappearing.
Laos and it’s French
The most prominent of cities to see French influence is in Luang Prabang. Here the streets are no similarities to that of in Paris with cafes even serving typically French food. It is reminiscent of Paris, with the houses living up the Mekong River as it does the River Seine. The fusion of the traditional Lao and the French influence has merged into a beautiful harmony so much so that it has been granted a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Cities in Laos