French Military cemetery, VientianeFrench Military cemetery, Vientiane

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  • Off the path Explo
    98 %
    Off the path Explo rate
    Score
    4.9 / 5
    Comments
    Only on the Explo Guide. Well done Vincent!
  • Article Quality
    76 %
    Article Quality rate
    • Score
      3 / 5
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      Description is short!
    • Score
      4 / 5
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      Ok
    • Score
      2 / 5
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      2 pics
    • Score
      5 / 5
      Comments
      Yes!
    • Score
      5 / 5
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      Yes!
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A vestige of a forgotten war...

My experience, Explo description: 

In 1945-46, after the Japanese defeat, the French came back to Laos.

But as soon as 1952, the communist Pathet Lao had secured a strong position in north-east Laos, and with heavy support from Vietnamese troops, launched a general offensive aimed at capturing Sam Neua Province, together with parts of Luang Prabang and Xieng Khouang.

Sam Neua fell on the 13th April 1953. Luang Prabang was besieged, and the offensive pushed on into the south and east.

By the end of the year, the towns of Tha Khek (which fell on 24th December) and Savannakhet were encircled, as was the French air-land base at Seno. RC 9 was cut, and Attapu Province was captured, together with the Boloven Plateau.

When the French were defeated in Dien Bien Phu (1954) and pulled out of Indochina, the Pathet Lao was in control of a large part of Laos.

The Vientiane French military cemetery gathers 552 bodies of French soldiers killed during this unknown war.

Close to the military cemetery, you can visit a catholic cemetery.

My personal recommendations: 

By chance, you can sometimes meet old soldiers who come to visit this place and talk with them.

How getting there: 

The cemetery is located on the right side of the Road N°13 (to Luang Prabang) about 6km from Vientian city centre (200m on the west side of the airport strip).

Useful information: 
Visit duration: 

10mn.