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Vientiane the city’s exotic Eurasian

Vientiane is the capital of Laos, and although the largest city in the country, it still has a provincial feel to it and is a pleasant place to explore on foot. Tree-lined boulevards and elegant architecture testify to its years under French occupation, in particular the Patuxai, which is a smaller, Asian version of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. The colonial past mingles with even older temples such as Wat Si Saket and Pha That Luang, rich with the country’s historic, spiritual and national heritage. Many of the handicraft centres and restaurants in the city work with the local community to ensure traditional values are not lost. We encourage you to visit such projects whilst in Vientiane as well as the COPE centre. And don’t forget to visit That Luang festival. It takes place at the time of the fullmoon of the 12th lunar month. This is a Buddhist festival to honour the national shrine. One of the days of this three-day festival is very special as large crowds gather for an impressive ceremony of prayers.


Most Popular Attractions in Vientiane

The colonial past mingles with even older temples such as Wat Si Saket and Pha That Luang, rich with the country’s historic, spiritual and national heritage. Many of the handicraft centers and restaurants in the city work with the local community to ensure traditional values are not lost.
  •     Buddha Park
  •     Lao National Museum
  •     That Dam (Black Stupa)
  •     That Luang
  •     Vang Vieng
  •     The Presidential Palace
  •     Patuxai Victory Monument
  • Wat Ho Phra Keo
  • Wat Si Muang
  • Wat Mixai
  • Wat Si Saket

Top excursions when going to Vientiane

If you have one day in Vientiane, it is worth it to take an excursion inside of the city where there are many delight to be had.

A full day city tour by bicycle or car exposes the main sites of the city and walks you through the historic periods of Lao culture. The tranquil Wat Sisaket was the only temple to survive the Siamese invasion of 1827 and the beautiful wood-covered hallways are filled with thousands of Buddha statues. Directly across the street is Wat Phra Kaew which once held the Emerald Buddha now revered in Bangkok. The interior museum is a great place to learn about Buddhist culture and history.

A walk along Lane Xang Avenue might bring visions of Paris. Designed to resemble the Champs Elysees, this tree lined street in the centre of town even has its very own ‘Arc de Triomphe’. Slightly quirky, climbing to the top of Patuxai offers fantastic views of the city. Continuing out of town on Lane Xang Avenue, you reach That Luang. This magnificent gold-leaf covered stupa is the national symbol of Laos and one of its most important religious sights. Each fall, a massive festival is held in the grounds around the stupa and people from all over the country descend upon Vientiane to partake in the religious celebrations.
 The capital is located on the banks of the Mekong River which forms the border between Laos and Thailand. In the late afternoon, the banks of the Mekong fill up with local stalls selling cold beers and fresh local food. Sitting by the river, you can watch the fishermen and catch a beautiful sunset view.
    
In Vientiane, you have the opportunity to discover one of delicious Laos Coffee. Laos produces one of the most famous coffees in the world that grown, often referred to as the ‘Champagne of Coffee’. Grown in Southern Laos on the Boloven Plateau, the beans are sought after for their delicious taste. A visit to the coffee centre will teach you more about the process of roasting and blending of the beans, and is concluded with a cupping tasting session.
    
For those interested in traditional crafts and textiles, a visit to Carol Cassidy should not be missed. Housed in a colonial mansion, Ms Cassidy has set up a series of looms and here traditional methods of dying and weaving are practiced resulting in beautiful, high quality silks. The charity shop Les Artisans Laos is a fascinating visit to watch recycled and renewable materials such as bamboo, palm, and mulberry leaves being turned in to quality notebooks, stationary and printer paper.
    
Learn about the tragic recent history of Laos at COPE, the Cooperative Orthotic and Prosthetic Enterprise. Laos is the most heavily bombed country in the world and COPE provides prosthetic limbs for those who cannot afford it. COPE has a great display of information and exhibitions on the problems and work being done to help the victims.

Accommodation suggestions Vientiane in Laos


    Ansara Hotel
    La Residence Mandalay
    Mandala Boutique Hotel
    Salana Boutique Hotel
    Salana Boutique Hotel
    Settha Palace