"Vientiane" Vientiane by RB_Oakes

Vientiane Travel Guide: 783 reviews and 1,813 photos

Vientiane I

After a brute force "VIP" bus from LP, I arrived with a gaggle of tourists and we were herded onto an oversized tuktuk to head to the tourist ghetto downtown. The city was fairly booked out so it took a bit of effort to track down a room.

Vientiane's downtown, if you can call it that, is a zone filled with Western influence. Even the most westernized cities in Central Asia or China can't touch it (I wrote this in the naive days before I went to Cambodia or Thailand, but at the time this was the most western place I'd seen in months!). There are plenty of wonderful colonial buidings, lots of travellers and many expats.

I mostly was here for a Cambodian visa, but got hooked up with some Lao food like laap and beer made from palm sap (Lao Bia, not to be confused with Beer Lao).

I hit up some wats, bummed around town, bought a bootleg cd (unlike in China, they don't even try to pretend it's not a copy), checked out the waterfront...not a whole lot to it. Got ripped off by a tuk-tuk driver. I hate tuk-tuk drivers, may they all burn in hell, the thieving pigs. Taxi drivers, too.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Laid back, decent food, only place in laos to get things done
  • Cons:Hot, humid, not much to do
  • In a nutshell:If you have business to conduct, you won't hate it, otherwise give it a day and move on
  • Last visit to Vientiane: Nov 2004
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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