capital of Laos is Asia's biggest village. Busy and
hectic in comparison
to the rest of the country, it is quiet compared with any
other city in Asia. Vientiane, as all of Lao's major
cities, is situated on the Mekong river which forms the
lifeline of the country. Vientiane is the hub for all
travel in the country. The city has a population of
450,000, about 10% of the country.
a city full of surprises. Here you can find fields of
rice and vegetables, agriculture hidden behind tree lined
avenues. French Colonial architecture sits next to gilded
temples. Freshly baked French bread is served next to
shops selling noodle soup.
is little modern in Vientiane. Old French colonial houses
are being restored as offices and as restaurants and
hotels. There are only a handful of modern buildings which
sometimes look remarkably out of place in this quiet
famous landmark of Vientiane is That Luang (Royal Stupa)
which was constructed in 1566 by King Setthatirat and
restored in 1935. The stupa is situated 3km north of the
centre of the city.
(Anousavary) - Victory Monument
Monument is situated at the north end of Lane Xang Avenue
and resembles Paris' Arc de Triomphe - as it is sometimes
known. During the day, the monument can be climbed and
makes an excellent vantage point of the city.
Khouang (Buddah Park)
Park is situated about 25 minutes drive outside the centre
of the city. Although not an old temple, it is
nevertheless fascinating for its huge structures that
combine Buddhist and Hindu Philosophies.
features over 6,800 buddah images which are all ritually
cleansed at the time of the Lao new year. The temple was
built in 1818 and is the oldest surviving temple in
The museum is
housed in a large French colonial building and shows a
collection of artefacts, photographs and paintings of the
history of the Lao People's Revolution.
Wat Ho Prakeo
to the Presidential Palace, this temple was the temple of
the former Lao Royal family. Formerly, the temple was the
home of the emerald Buddah that was stolen by the Thais in
1778 and now resides in Bangkok.
Vientiane - Out and About
attraction of Vang Vieng area is the limestone karst that
lines the Song river. The karst is honeycombed with
caves, tunnels and waterfalls. Vang Vieng is situated
160 km north of Vientiane and is home to Hmong and Yao
people. Vang Vieng can be reached by bus from Vientiane
and is a popular stop off point for visitors on the way to
Nam Ngum Lake
artificial lake, created by the damming of the Ngum river
forms an area of 250 sq km. The lake contains many
islets and boats can be hired by the hour to explore the
Khoay - Buffalo Mountain
is situated 45km east of Vientiane and is a National
Biodiversity Conservation Area. The hills, which rise to
over 1000m are home to wildlife,including elephant, tiger,
and Asiatic black bear.
30km from Vientiane, 4km from the road to Luang Prabang is
Don Savang - a small island in the middle of a lake at the
Nam Houn Dam. Here, locals enjoy the afternoon spending
their time eating, drinking and playing watersports. There
are a number of floating shelters where you can relax as
well as a small restaurant.