Laos - Vientiane - That Luang - National monument of Laos

Vientiane

Capital of Laos

Discover Vientiane ...

Vientiane

Overview

Some call it the "City of Sandalwood" and others call it the "Citadel of the Moon" - names that evoke more a Zen-like state than the busy life of a capital city. Vientiane stretches along the banks of the Mekong and follows the peaceful rhythm of the river.

Make no mistake, you are in the capital of Laos; but in Vientiane you are a world away from the other noisy and polluted capitals of South East Asia.

If you arrive from Bangkok, Phnom Pen or Hanoi, you will be struck by the tranquility, magic and spectrum of cuisine of the Laotian capital. Vientiane has more the appearance of a provincial town than a capital city - inhabited by around half a million people.

You will discover the city of Vientiane and its many facets: from quaint, old colonial houses, a tangle of Chinese buildings, Buddhist temples in bright gold and bustling markets from sunrise to sunset.

North of city is the That Luang, a large golden stupa 45 feet high which according to legend houses Buddha’s breastbone. This monument is a religious and national symbol of Laos and is the focus of numerous religious processions throughout the year.

Vientiane also has numerous markets called “talat” in Lao. You'll find a wide variety of fruits and vegetables with some amazing shapes and colors such as dragon fruit, rambutan or mangosteens. The dried red chilies are widely used in Lao cooking, especially for maceration of meat and fish. In soups and ready meals, fresh chili peppers are preferred.
The modern Talat Sao is filled with electronics and white goods and so is a great place to buy a cheap phone or camera. In addition, there are numerous smaller shops offering local produced goods at very reasonable prices.

Finally, you can have lots of fun strolling along the banks of the Mekong at the end of the day, or enjoying  a drink in one of the many taverns that line the Mekong and while you watch the sunset over the Mekong.

See also:

Laos - Vientiane - Wat Sisaket

Vat Sisaket- Vientiane


Laos - Vientiane - Buddha Park

Buddha Park - Vientiane


Laos - Vientiane - Mekong Sunset

Sunset in Vientiane - Laos


Laos - Vientiane - Boat Festival

Vientiane -  Laos