The capital city of Laos



The capital of Laos is Vientiane, which is situated on the Mekong's north-eastern bank. Many visitors love a calm riverbank break with a cold beer and sunset views over the Mekong, something you won't get in many capitals around the world. Vientiane also boasts a broad assortment of hotels, restaurants, and cafes, some of which are housed in colonial-era French-style houses. Worshippers can be seen offering gifts and being blessed by monks all year at the city's Buddhist temples, which serve the local population. 

How to get there:

By plane: Vientiane's Wattay Airport (IATA: VTE, ICAO: VLVT) is 4 km west of the city.

There are direct international flights to/from: Bangkok, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Kuala Lumpur, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Chiang Mai, Kunming, Singapore, Seoul and Busan.

Lao Airlines serves five domestic destinations: Luang Prabang (three to five flights daily), Pakse (once or twice daily), Huay Xai and Oudomxay (four times weekly), and Xieng Khuang (Phonsavan) (six times weekly).

By road:

  • From Thailand: The Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge (Saphan Mittaphap) from Nong Khai, Thailand is the most popular way in. Just past Thai immigration, there are frequent 20-baht shuttle buses. The price varies according to the time of day and the day of the week.
  • From Vietnam: It takes at least 20 hours to travel by bus from Hanoi. The journey from Hue takes between 14 and 18 hours.
  • From Cambodia: 

Vientiane's attractions:

Patuxai Victory Monument: On Lane Xang Boulevard, originally known as Anou Savary, lies the Patuxai Victory Monument. Between Vientiane and That Luang lies Patuxai. The Arc de Triomphe of Paris erected the bottom and outside of Anou Savary in 1958, but the top and inside of the building are typical Laotian architectural traits. We can see the entire landscape of Vientiane from the highest point of Anou Savary.

Pha That Luong: That Luang is a symbol of Lao Theravada Buddhism because it is positioned at the end of Lane Xang Avenue, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. That Luang is regarded as Laos' largest and most magnificent Buddhist sanctuary.

Buddha Park (Xieng Khuan): Buddha Park can be found in Xieng Khuan (far from southeastern Vientiane about 25 km). There are over 200 concrete statues of Buddha and Hindu deities.

Wat Ho Phra Keo: When you enter Wat Ho Phra Keo (Temple of the Emerald Buddha), you will enter a "space of art" filled with sculptures, carvings, and rare and precious objects. All of the items are made of vibrant gold, silver, and jade. Wat Ho Phra Keo (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) displays many Laotian religious arts. After That Luang, this temple is regarded as the second most important and well-known temple.

Wat Si Saket: Wat Si Saket, located on Setthathirath Road near Vientiane Boulevard Lane Xang, retains the original Siamese Buddhist architecture from its construction in 1818 by Chao Anouvong – Last King of Lane Xang. The corridor of the temple is impressive, with walls covered in over 2000 images of bronze Buddha made of precious wood, ceramic, gilded, and silver. The temple contains over 6.840 valuable Buddha statues.

Wat Si Muang: Wat Si Muang, located between Setthathirath and Samsenthai, embodies a blend of Buddhist faith and traditional Lao belief. Wat Si Muang Temple was named after a pregnant woman around 300 years ago. The Lao people built Wat Si Muang to honor and remember that woman. At Wat Si Muang, you can perform the Lao tradition of tying the sewing needle.

Lao National Museum: The Lao National Museum is an excellent place to learn about the Lao people from prehistoric times while also sunbathing. The museum is housed in a former French colonial structure. Although it is decaying and some of the artifacts are blurred, the transmission content remains unchanged. The bottom floor is dedicated to the country's history, with dinosaur bones and ceramic fragments. The upper level implicates a more modern Laos, including the war for freedom from French colonialists and the presence of the US during the Vietnam War.

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Explore in Vientiane

Full of things to see, from Buddha Park to the Morning market and an impossibly rich selection of international cuisine – most pointedly French – visitors will find themselves slowly won over by the easy charms of this evolving backwater.

Tours from Vientiane

This selection of Vientiane tours is ideal for those looking to get the most out of their holiday in the capital city of Laos.