"Vientiane, capital of tranquility" Top 5 Page for this destination Vientiane by SirRichard

Vientiane Travel Guide: 783 reviews and 1,813 photos

Slowing down

I arrived in Vientiane from busy Hanoi, Vietnam's capital. Sincerely, I had no idea of what Laos was gonna be like. Besides, my Lonely Planet was stoledn in Bangkok and I hadn't bought any other, so I left the airport guide-blind (first time in several trips).
I took a cab and told the driver to take me to the centre. When we arrived, I couldn't believe THAT was the centre of the capital. It seemed more the suburbs of a quiet rural village!!! No skycrappers, no traffic, no horns... I was in the middle of nowhere!!

A pleasant surprise!

First thing I did was choosing a room (the first one I saw for 5 $, as I had no guide) and go out to discover the city, as my bus to Luang Phabang left the following morning.
It was a nice surprise to find such BEAUTIFUL AMAZING FANTASTIC temples in the very heart of the city. It was such a calm relaxed walk from one to another, finding each one more beautiful than the previous...
Besides, there were about 10 tourists in all Vientiane, and I was 1 of them, so the contrast with Hanoi was incredible.

Living religion

One thing that surprised me a lot (apart from the fact that there is no Coke in Laos!) was to find temples under construction. And I don't mean refurbishing, they were brand new. In the rest of the trip I always found old temples (real old in Cambodia), but here I had the chance to see temples being built and I felt that religion (buddhism) was a very living concept here, part of theit everyday life.

  • Last visit to Vientiane: Aug 2003
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (25)

Comments (24)

  • Mar 2, 2009 at 2:23 AM

    Or go to Monument Books, spend $2.50 and get a very detailed Hobo map of Vientiane.

  • roamer61's Profile Photo
    Feb 5, 2008 at 7:41 AM

    Good page on the capital of Laos Joaquin. Nice temple photos.

  • Jan 21, 2008 at 4:29 PM

    The best shrimp 'puffs' I've ever eaten. Wish I knew the name in Laotian so I could ask a local Lao chef to cook them for me.

  • jenniferchin's Profile Photo
    Jan 9, 2008 at 6:02 PM

    Well, there was more than 10 tourists this time around :-) and I adore Sisaket Museum !!

  • magor65's Profile Photo
    Dec 28, 2007 at 8:37 AM

    My virtual trip across your Lao pages is over. My real trip is planned for February. Hope to enjoy it as much as you did.

  • daryll's Profile Photo
    Oct 3, 2007 at 6:48 AM

    cant wait to experience the sunset over the mekong river

  • sirenna's Profile Photo
    Nov 11, 2005 at 6:44 AM

    Another lovely page - I could spend a happy afternoon virtually travalling via your well written tips and beautiful photos.

  • calcaf38's Profile Photo
    Feb 25, 2005 at 10:51 AM

    Hi Sir Richard: After seeing the temples of Luang Prabang, those in Vientiane surprised me with their cheddar cheese color. Thank you for bringing back those enchanting memories.

  • kyoub's Profile Photo
    Aug 1, 2004 at 5:21 AM

    Very interesting tips and great photos. I hope to see it myself someday.

  • laughingbuddha's Profile Photo
    Jun 12, 2004 at 5:43 PM

    Great and interesting photos that show a side of the country that is different from the usual travel pictures. I'm looking forward to my trip to Laos this fall. Thanks for sharing good information with us.


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