Vientiane, the capital of Laos, is a hectic city that runs along the banks of the Mekong River. I didn’t love the city. It’s a generic capital city in many ways. It’s hard to avoid since it’s located on every possible route through the country. Here you’ll get a lot more activity, bars, and diversity in cuisine. This city has temples aplenty to explore, a Buddhist statue park, and lots of local food to try. There’s a lot of amazing riverside markets too. Overall, the city is worth a few days and this guide can help you plan your trip!
Top 5 Things to See and Do in Vientiane
1. Visit the Lao National Museum
2. Trek through the nature parks
3. See some temples and stupas
4. Chat with a monk
5. Check out the Victory Gate (Patuxai)
Other Things to See and Do
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1. Immerse yourself in French Culture
The French Cultural Centre has a French library and a small theater that shows plays and films. The cultural center also has regular free photo exhibitions about the people of Laos and their culture. They organize a French conversation group, as well, and run language courses in english, french, and Laotian.
2. Rent a bicycle
Vientiane ByCycle offers excellent guided bicycle tours in Vientiane. You will get a chance to go off the normal course, to villages, temples, and schoolyards along the Mekong River. Their intro tour lasts 4-5 hours and costs around 400,000 LAK.
3. Get a massage
There are several locations in Vientiane that offer Lao massage. The best part is that they are relatively affordable, and a great way to relax in chill Vientiane. The Adina Spa or Champa Spa are two options that offer great massages at reasonable prices. Massages start around 80,000 LAK per hour.