"back to Vieng Chan" Top 5 Page for this destination Vientiane by picek
Vientiane Travel Guide: 754 reviews and 1,693 photos
It is indeed unusually quiet capital comparing to other larger cities in Asia. Some people/traveler or tourist to Laos never visit it, some find it lacking charm and activity and others are quite satisfy with it and they choose to live in it.
Yet, you can find its details, contoversies and pleasures intriguing - things many to discover, history interesting and worth exploring. That is Vientiane - poor and rich, sleepy and tired, maybe quiet, vibrant on markets, night markets and bus stations, on the main roads because almost nobody likes to walk, friendly and greedy, rich with Buddhism and ancient traditions and emerging post-modernity, it's capital influenced by many - foreign and local and regional superpowers, when on the other hand... you can hardly find it megalomanian ... my dear, there are more things you can expect to notice if you stay for a while.
Just for the record. I visited first in 2005, then twice times laters. Everbody who revisit can see rapid changes within a few years span. That's why some of my tips are older date, but to do my best I had renewed them anytime possible when I came accross new information or I went to see them by moi-meme. Of course, some thing maybe slipped my mind so if you notice mistakes do let me know.
That Luang is Lao national symbol and one of the nicest stupa in Laos. In front of it you can find large open space where lots of people come to meet eachother, do sports like football or/and enjoy eating snacks from steet vendors. The field is the place for state ceremonies, parades and That Luang festival. Nearby there's parlament building and a site for new park which is now under construction. According to the plan it will look like baroque design ... which I always find strange in SEA.
Vieng Chan means Sandalwood city... and local Lao will seldom call it Vientiane (that name has been used by french because they couldn't say it in local language or what...). Or better: the part of VTE near Don Chan palace is the area where they used to grow sandalwood and it's originally island. When it's dry season the land is connected while in the rainy season it becomes island again, the bridge being the only tie with land.
Remember some rules very well when you visit Buddhist countries: never touch monk if you're woman, this also means you cannot give him something straight from your hand - it must be given through man's hand. Never point with feet towards other person if you're not familiar with him/her/them - it can be considered insulting. Don't touch the head. When visit temples don't sit with your feets towards Buddha. Always take off your shoes when visit temples and houses - even at guesthouses you won't always wear your shoes. Dress conservatively - especially when visiting sacred places and rural areas; you will not be allowed to enter a temple in shorts and/or spaghetti shirts. When visitng homes of local, it's appropriate to take offered drink or food, even if only sip or piece of it.
If in doubt, it doesn't cost anything to ask... to be sure.
- Pros:That Luang, Patouxay, wat Sisakhet are some of Laos most interesting buildings
- Cons:when it's hot... it's really hot! Plus traffic is growing, makes air thick with fumes
- In a nutshell:give it a try, it's still place not to miss
Although died in 1992 Kaysone seems to be even more presented and offcially worshiped than any time before and one has... more travel advice
It is among the most significant temples in Vientiane only across the street from Wat Sisakhet. With its display of many... more travel advice
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picek's Related Pages
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