Vientiane is possibly the most modest and laid back of the Southeast Asian capitals and has numerous beautifully decorated Wats (temples), bustling local markets, grand French colonial buildings and wide leafy avenues, reminiscent of those found in Paris – one avenue even comes complete with Patuxai, Laos’ answer to the Arc de Triomphe.
Hugging a bend of the Mekong River, Vientiane offers few remaining historical sites; however, Laos’ most important religious building and its national symbol, That Luang Stupa, can be found here so is well-worth a visit. Wat Prakeo is also worthy of a mention, the temple was built to house the Emerald Buddha, which the Siamese embezzled in 1779. There are still plenty of drawcards to this city though, one of which is that is doesn’t feel like a city at all; so unhurried that this fact is perfectly in-keeping with the rest of the country – known for its laidback, friendly atmosphere and slower pace of life. Home to a number of bustling markets, test out your bargaining skills at either the lively morning market or the brightly lit night market found along the Mekong riverside. We find this area most rewarding, as it is lined by many boutiques selling Lao handicrafts along with numerous simple barbecue stands – here enjoy a cool Beer Lao and sample the grilled fish, fresh from the Mekong River all whilst looking at Thailand on the other side.
|Official Language||Lao (official), French, English,|