We didn’t know what to expect when we arrived in the capital of Laos, we were tired, hungry and a little grumpy. Seeing Vientiane for the first time instantly lifted our spirits, with all the beautiful architecture and relaxed feel we knew we would love the next 2 days here.
Things To Do:
The COPE Centre, a charity set up to help the victims of land mines within Laos, they make prosthetic limbs and provide physical therapy. (Did you know that Laos is the most bombed country in the world, thanks to the Americans during the Vietnam war.) It’s free to enter but there are donation buckets at the door, it’s heartbreaking and I guarantee that you’ll want to empty your whole wallet into the buckets as you leave.
The night market, on every night as soon as it gets dark. Mainly clothes for super cheap, perfect for backpackers who need a t-shirt for 10,000 kip.
Chao Anouvong Park, a peaceful setting based on the river banks, a perfect place for a picnic or to just relax.
The Patuxay Monument celebrates Laos independence from France, it costs 3,000 kip to climb the stairs for a birds eye view of the city.
Vientiane has more temples than you can count, we spent one full day visiting temples, here are our favourites:
That Dam – Free
Sisaket Museum – 10,000 kip
Wat Phra Kaew – 10,000 kip
Wat Si Muang – 10,000 kip
Where To Eat:
Budget – Khow Hoom, cheap local dishes
Upmarket – Vialy Steak House, affordable lunch time specials
Italian – Via Via, classic stone baked pizza
Indian – Dhaka, traditional Indian food for affordable prices
We paid 400 Thai Baht for a taxi from the border between Thailand and Laos. I think we probably overpaid but it was a 45 minute journey and it was really late at night, we just wanted to get to the hotel.
If your coming from the airport there is a direct public bus that runs through ‘downtown’, and if your coming from elsewhere in Laos, a bus from Vang Vieng costs 50,000 kip and takes around 4 hours.
Where To Stay:
Vientiane is really small, most things are within easy walking distance, all the budget accommodation is within the ‘downtown’ area, with a few fancy hotels a bit further out.
We stayed at the Mixok Inn, which was perfect for only £16 per night including a fantastic cooked to order breakfast. They also do cheap laundry and bus tickets. We booked through our trusty favourite, hotels.com.
How Long To Stay:
Can be done in 1 night if your tight for time, better for 2 or 3 nights but I wouldn’t want to stay any longer, it’s a really small town.