Vientiane capital city
Although a small city, this region contributes a lot to the economy of the country and has something for every person from a businessman to a traveler. Check out the following guide to know about Vientiane and the places worth exploring in it.
When to visit
Traveling to Vientiane
The best time to visit is November to February.
People generally prefer to visit this city during the months from November to February as several festivities are around the corner during this period. The Hmong New Year is celebrated here between December and January. Wat Phou festival follows the new year. The festival held in February is marked by elephant races, bull fights and dancing to the traditional tunes of Lao.
Otherwise the place is usually good for visits all round the year as many other colorful festivals are celebrated in the city. The Boat racing festival is held in September-October; Boun Pi Mai, which is Laos’ New Year, is celebrated during April. Ensure that you know about the weather before you head towards the city. Often, monsoons strike the city badly from April to October leading to traffic snarls and increased humidity.
You can opt for air or road to reach this beautiful city.
Getting to the city is easy as there are several options for transportation. If you are flying to the city, then the best option is available from Thailand. Buy tickets for Wattay International airport, which is barely 4 km away from the city. As it is not a busy airport, you can easily get connective flights to other cities, which operate on a daily basis. Southeast Asian countries like Thailand, Cambodia, China and Vietnam offer connecting flights each day. You can get a 15 day to 30 day visa on your arrival at airport.
If you are in Thailand or Hanoi in Vietnam, then traveling by road is a better option. From Thailand, the international Thai-Lao bus service takes you through the Lao-Thai friendship bridge. The local currency ‘Bath’ is available at several banks in various cities. Direct buses are available from Hanoi in Vietnam. These bus rides are cheap and comfortable, but make sure that you get your visa before entering the country as the bus tends to leave if you stay long at the crossing bridge for your visa. You can move around the city in mini electric buses available at various suburbs.
Places to visit
Although considered a business city, Vientiane has several cultural monuments that make the city perfect for pleasure and business. Most of the prominent regions of the city have Buddhist sites or buildings from the colonial era, which opens the doors and unravels the historical significance of the city.
Lao National Cultural hall is a beautiful building of crucial importance. You can hire a tuk-tuk or the local transportation to visit places like Lao National museum where several relics from the early historical ages are of display. Some items of Bronze Age have also been showcased. Some pictures from modern history makes the place lively while a guestbook holds the best record of arguments and conversations between regular visitors.
Patuxia is a Buddhist monument lined with palm trees and fountains that help beat the heat. Musical fountains here are known all around the world. A guide can take you around several attractions of this place. Lao People’s Army history Museum is a feather in the hat of Vientiane, which has several items dedicated to the country’s army.
Buddha Park is a must watch place as it is a temple with Buddhist relics. The gods and beasts from Hindu mythology too are depicted here. There is another, identical park close to this place. Located near the friendship bridge, this park lures many visitors. The cultural park is a colorful representation of the diversity of the country’s culture. Here you can find various ethnic groups. Occasional cultural shows light up the entire place. The morning bazar is famous among shoppers
Where to stay
Places to stay are good for all budgets
The city has an amicable atmosphere and has several good places to stay. If you are travelling on a budget, then you can rely on guest houses that are cheap but comfortable. Ansara Hotel is a top rated hotel which has some of the best amenities available. The hotel’s facilities are good. It combines traditional French style with modern approaches. The place is charming and the stay is a pleasant experience. Green Park Boutique is another recommended hotel that allures visitors. The hotel premises are covered with trees.
Beer and roasted chicken is a heavenly combination.
Vientiane provides a remarkable culinary experience and the flavors of its savory dishes linger in the mouth for a long time. Guest houses provide you with Chicken Laap which is a tasty snack. As the staple diet includes rice, several dishes of rice are made. Rice noodles served here are different from those in China and have a sweet-sour taste in them. The gravy keeps the rice from getting dry and sticky. Major bakeries and cafes are known for their French-influenced food items that are good options for a lazy morning breakfast or brunch. Joma and Scandinavian Bakery are popular among Western travelers who throng the place each day. Croissants are also popular among masses. Restaurants like Just For Fun are a great place for vegetarians to get some wholesome, tasty food. Asian Bounmala is known for its classic dish of roasted chicken served with inexpensive beer. Nok Noi produces quality food in its café. PVO has full flavor food. Submarine sandwiches are a must eat product here. Excellent Italian food is available at L’Opera.
Things to do
Things to do.
Visit different areas and locals and plan wisely.
This city offers you some memorable experiences. The Wellness Massage Center is a must-visit for all those who want to enjoy some peaceful time. The massage provided will surely ease your tensions and reduce stress. The best way to discover the city is to take special, personalized bicycle tours that take you around the city and show you every attraction. If you want to gain some knowledge about the human body, visit the Cooperative Orthotic and Prosthetic Enterprise to guide you. Apart from temples, visit food joints for pampering your taste buds.