Weather :

Timings : 9 AM to 6 PM

Time Required : 2 to 3 hours

Entry Fee : Free entry

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COPE Visitor Centre, Vientiane Overview

COPE (Cooperative Orthotic & Prosthetic Enterprise) is a non-profit organization located in the capital city of Vientiane in Laos. It is a rehabilitation centre and works with organizations around the country to nurture and support all those have been affected by landmine explosions, especially those who have lost limbs. They provide prosthetic care and medical facilities to the affected people in Laos, especially children, youth and the old.

It is one of the attractions worth checking out on your Vientiane trip. Travelers will get to know how bombs and landmine explosions during the American war have been affecting the lives of the people in this country even to this day. The history of the war and its repercussions can be witnessed through the exhibits in this interactive centre.

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Best time to visit

The best time to visit COPE Visitor centre is in the morning or afternoon to escape the hot sun outside and also to attend free guided tours.

COPE Visitor centre History & Significance

Laos is the most heavily bombed country in the world per capita. The US army dropped over two million tons of arms on the country between 1964 and 1973 during the war. Out of this, over 50% didn't explode and got hidden amidst the thick canopy of the jungles. Because of this, even to this day, one person on an average is killed by these UXOs.

COPE visitor centre was established in 1996 due to the rise in these casualties. And with the partnership with the Lao Ministry of Health, the centre provides countrywide physical rehabilitation services. They also work with rehabilitation professionals at the Centre for Medical Rehabilitation (CMR) in Vientiane and four other provincial Rehabilitation Centres in Laos. 

At the centre, they educate the visitors about the consequences of war and the impact on the survivors. The permanent exhibition consists of a miniature model of bombs hanging from the ceiling. There is also a cinema room showing war documentaries.

COPE support the victims who have disabilities by giving prosthetic amenities for free. They also provide therapies to bring up the morale of these victims to make them resume healthy lives. Apart from UXO victims, the organization also works to support families that are financially affected due to disabilities, people suffering from blindness, leprosy, and other youth to provide education, jobs and support system.

How To Reach COPE Visitor Centre

COPE visitor centre is located on Khouvieng Road in Vientiane. It takes about 30 minutes to reach from the city centre. The best way to reach there is to rent a tuk-tuk for about 5 USD per person for a roundtrip that can be shared. You can also get there by hiring a motorbike for about 7 to 9 USD per day.

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