"Vientiane" Vientiane by trisanna

Vientiane Travel Guide: 759 reviews and 1,712 photos

Vientiane is the capital of one of the most poorest nations. Even though the country is struggling financially, Vientiane has the potential of being a great city. It is an interesting city full of beautiful wats and crumbling stunning french colonial buildings with flashy SUVs driving up the main avenues.Vientiane is laid out like a Paris of the East. There is one large avenue that is intersected with their version of Arc de triumph, the Patuxai. The street ends at the Presidential palace. The city is located on the banks of the Mekong, not too far from the Friendship Bridge, which links itself to it's much more modern neighbor, Thailand.

Even though it's a communist country, capitalism has a strong hold here and i am sure will change this country in the near future. When we were there in 2004, there were no international ATMs in town. Everyone in our hotel said there were no ATMs in town. We did find a local one. It must have been new. Best to bring all the cash you need or bring in Thai Baht or US dollars to change into the local currency, Kip. Locals will accept and sometimes prefer if you pay in baht or dollars. We found that if you have Singapore dollars, it can be impossible to find someone other than your hotel to change your money.

We came here as a sidetrip through the Thai town Udon Thani. We spent a day and half here exploring the town, which wasn't enough. Then went back into Thailand to Loei and Dan Sai for the Phi Ta Khon festival.

Highlights of Vientiane:
-Wat Si Saket
-Haw Pha Kaew
-Wat In Paeng
-Patuxai monument
-That Luang Stupa
-Xieng Khuan (Buddha Park)

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:sleepy city, stunning wats, lovely colonial buildings, great French-Lao food
  • Cons:insurgents, terrorism, no international ATMs
  • In a nutshell:Hard to believe this is a capital city
  • Last visit to Vientiane: Jun 2004
  • Intro Updated Aug 19, 2005
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Reviews (15)

Comments (1)

  • ValbyDK's Profile Photo
    Jun 29, 2008 at 7:02 AM

    Hi Trisanna. You have a great Vientiane page. I’m planning going there later this year. Thx for the tips.

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