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Located on the banks of the Mekong, Vientiane, the capital, is the starting point for all journey in Laos, whether it’s a departure by road or boat. With the peaceful charm of a provincial town, this city is safe from the hysterical frenzy of most major capitals of Southeast Asia. Here, tourists stroll to discover the cultural treasures of the city. You should definitely stay a few days, this city has a lot to offer.

Top things to do in Vientiane

1. Vat That Luang

National symbol of Laos, That Luang, an imposing golden monument, captures both the Buddhist religion and Lao sovereignty. Built in 1566, the year Vientiane was declared capital. The “Golden Stupa” is only 3 km from the city center.

2. Patuxai Arch

Patuxai, translating “Victory Gate”, was built in 1962 as a memorial for those who gave their lives in the war of independence between Laos and France. This massive victory arch is found in the center of the city, and is surrounded by pretty gardens, very popular with locals who come for a walk in the evening.

 Patuxai Arch

3. Wat Sisaket – the oldest temple in the city

It is not only an old Wat, it is still a museum of fine arts. Built in 1818, this temple has over 6400 Buddha statues in lacquered wood.

Wat Sisaket – the oldest temple in the city

4. Wat Si Muang

This sophisticated temple, especially visited, marked the south-east entrance of the city in the 16th century. It was built on the ruins of a Khmer sanctuary, the remains of which can be seen behind the ordination hall. Every day, this Buddhist temple attracts crowds of locals who want to benefit from its blessings. It is widely believed that if you pray for something here and make a promise simultaneously, your wish will be granted, provided you come back and fulfill your promise.

5. National Museum of Laos

Located in the former French governor's building, built in 1925, a visit to this museum is a great way to learn more about the history, culture and people of Laos.

National Museum of Laos

6. Buddha Park 

Buddha Park, an open-air sculpture park, was founded in 1958 by the monk and artist Bunleua Sulila. It is known for its 200 religious sculptures including a gigantic 40-meter high Buddha statue. Take the best photo of the park at the top of the 3-storey pumpkin sculpture. The entrance looks like the mouth of a demon (3-meter high) and has a stone ladder.

Buddha Park 

7. Street food

Do not miss out on a sidewalk dinner once you are in Vientiane. Anyway it’s gonna be hard to resist the smell of grilled meat. Sausages, meat or fish, there is something for everyone. Like Chinese sausages, Laos sausages are often slightly sweet and there are delicious ones with lemongrass.

8. Laos cooking class

If you enjoy cooking and want to learn some culinary specialties of Laos, you can join in a cooking class in Vientiane. This is a real opportunity to learn more about the culture of Laos. Not only will you get a glimpse of the ingredients and dishes, but you will also discover the importance of food for locals and the way to eat each dish.


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