Patuxai, built in the 1960's to celebrate Laotian Independence
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Vientiane (Lao ວຽງຈັນ; literally "City of Sandalwood") is the capital city of Laos, situated in the Mekong Valley. It is also Laos' largest city. The estimated population of the city is 200,000 (2005) while the number of people living in the Vientiane metropolitan area (the entire Vientiane Prefecture and parts of Vientiane Province) is believed to be over 730,000. The city hosted for the first time the 25th Southeast Asian Games in December 2009 celebrating the 50 years of SEA Games.
Sri Sattanak, or Sisattanak (Lao: ສີສັດຕະນາກ; Pali: श्रि शत्तनक् शिसत्तनक्), is a former name of Vientiane. It is often confused with Sri Sattanakanahut, the Pali name of Lan Xang, the Kingdom of the Million Elephants. Sisattanak now is the name of one of the five districts of the city Vientiane.