Long History of Vientiane

Vientiane or Wiang-chan is the capital and largest city of Laos, situated on the banks of the Mekong River near the border of Thailand. Vientiane became the capital in 1563. During French rule, Vientiane was the administrative capital. Due to economic growth in recent times, it has now become the economic center of Laos. The estimated population of the city is around 754,000 in 2009.

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Where is Vientiane?

The capital of Laos is on the bank of the Mekong river in the central of the country and close to northern part of Isan, north east region of Thailand.

Elevation 174 m over sea level
Time Zone BMT
Longitude 102.600000
Latitude 17.966670

Vientiane is very near Nongkai, Thailand border.  It takes less than 1 hour to get to the capital of Laos. Visitors who come to Thailand before can go access Vientiane in various ways, such as by  bus, train and flight. The direct flight by Bangkok airways is a convenience which is around 200-250 USD for round trip ticket by estimate. But if you fly to Udorn thani. It will be much cheaper, but it will take around 2 hours by bus on the ground.

Highlight of Vientiane

Vientiane is a city steeped in legend and history. The city is the home of the great gilded stupa, Pha That Luang, a national symbol of Laos. The streets are lined with trees, French colonial buildings, street markets, Buddhist temples, and noodle shops. Get up early and make a stop at Talet Sao, the morning market, for a glimpse into local life. Shop anything produce from textiles to jewelry, you’ll also find a rich selection of international cuisine, most pointedly French.

Patuxai  Arch , Victory Monument

Take a stroll to the Victory Monument (or Patuxai), Laos’ answer to the Arc de Triumph. It’s quite stunning from far sight and worth a look. It was built to celebrate the independent of the Laos republic from France. Get there early if you want some photos without a crowd of other visitors. You can also climb up for a bird eyes’ view of the city.

Location : city center of Vientiane

Admission fee : No

Open : Daily 24 hours

Beautiful Golden Stupa, Phra That Luang

The main architectures are reflecting to Laos culture. This is the most important monument and national symbolic which was built in 3Th century. Later, it was a reconstruction by the French in 1930s. The goal guilt stupa is contained the breastbone of the lord Buddha, which brought from India. The stupa is a big temple which is on the bank of the Mekong River.

Note : Every year in November on the 15th Full Moon day of the 11th Lunar month, there is a week long festival at the temple. 

Address : Vientiane, Laos

Admission fee : 10,000 Kip / person

Open : Daily

Wat Si Saket, the oldest monastery

Check out a peaceful Wat Si Saket, a must-see temple and Vientiane’s oldest surviving monastery. It features more than 6,000 Buddha images. This is the only temple that has not been destroyed by during the war with Siam Kingdom. The gallery of the temple is very nice which has small Buddha statues keep in the cabinet.

This temple was once housed the Emerald Buddha which kept in Hor Phrakeaw (หอพระแก้ว).

Address :  Ave Lane Xang, Vientiane, Laos

Admission fee : 5,000  Kip

Open : Daily

Buddha park Vientiane

Buddha Park (Xiang Khouan) and beautiful garden

Just outside the city is a Buddha Park, the garden scattered with over 200 cement sculptures depicting the gods and monsters of Buddhist and Hindu myth which has various Gods and mythical creatures stature.

The park was built by Luang pu Bounleun Sulilat in 1958 which later on moving to Thailand.

Address : Thadeua Village , 25 kms away from Vietntiane

Admission fee : 5,000 Kip / person , camera fee 3,000  Kip

Open : Daily 08.00-16.30

Laos National  Museum

Learn the history of Laos in the old day and during the French colonization time. See the antique which is a national heritage which reflex the culture, art and believe.

Address : Thadeua Village , 25 kms away from Vientiane

Admission fee :10,000  Kip per person , Camera 15,000 Kip / person

Open : Daily 08.00-12.00 and 13.00-16.00

Evening leisure and chill out along the river at Vientiane night market

After you’ve done the round of temples, the best thing to do here has always been to wandering down to the riverside, relax with a cold Beer Lao (The Lao national beer) and watch the sun set over the Mekong River.

Simply walking around the city is a great way to experience the city. Good opportunities for eating, shopping and drinking. The city is small enough to cover a lot of ground on foot.

Compared to other bustling capitals in Southeast Asian countries, Vientiane’s delightfully relaxing atmosphere makes it feel like the small town where it is.

Spend a few days visiting its unusual sights, sampling its excellent food and enjoying Beer Lao at sunset by the river, and you’ll soon feel at home here.