Everyday in late afternoon, vendors travel from several parts of Vientiane Capital. They carry parts of makeshift stalls in carts or pickup trucks and set them up on the pavement of Chao Anouvong Park, which sits right on the Mekong riverbank in Chanthaboury district, Vientiane Capital.

Several years ago, the several hectare area along the mighty Mekong riverbank was only used for farming purposes in the dry season when the tide in the Mekong ran low.  The area housed a few small family-run stalls and was also used as a viewing area for the annual boat racing festival of Vientiane residents.

Today the area is far different from it was several years ago. The area, which used to be lower, or just a few metres above the dry season surface of the Mekong, has been reclaimed with a huge amount of soil and a beautiful, modern, and organized area has been built atop.

Chao Anouvong Park was built as part of a US multi-million dollar Mekong riverside development project funded by the Republic of Korea’s government. The integrated project was designed to change the area stretching over 20 km along the Mekong River into a beautiful landscape for Vientiane residents.

Since the park was open to the public in 2010, it has become a hotspot for many people and the market at the park has attracted quite a number of half-day vendors who smell good chances to make money.

The Chao Anouvong night market is open every day until midnight and houses a number of stalls featuring a variety of souvenirs, clothes, food, beverages, and desserts. Since it is located in a commercial area crowded with hotels, guesthouses and services, many foreign visitors tend to take a short break and walk around in the market. Souvenirs representing the culture and traditions of Lao people usually attract their attention.

Chao Anouvong Park changes Vientiane landscape hinh anh 1

When the weather becomes cooler, working people also enjoy jogging, walking and doing exercise or aerobic dance in the park. Couples sitting on the pavement watching the Mekong can usually be seen.

Up to the north stands the statue of King Anouvong who the park is named after. The statue is around 8 metres high and features King Anouvong overlooking the Mekong holding a sword in his left hand while gesturing with his right.

Chao Anouvong was the last king of Vientiane Kingdom and is highly respected by the Lao people.