Vientiane , Laos capital
Vientiane or Wiang-chan is the capital and largest city of Laos, situated on the banks of 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 centre of Laos. The estimated population of the city is around 754,000 in 2009.
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.
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. Get there early if you want some photos without a crowd of other visitors. You can also climb up for bird eyes’ view of the city.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. 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.Compared to other bustling capitals in Southeast Asian countries, Vientiane’s delightfully relaxing atmosphere makes it feel like the small town where it is. After you’ve done the round of temples, the best thing to do here has always been to wander 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.
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.