Vientiane is the capital and largest city of Laos, situated on the Mekong River near the border with Thailand. Vientiane became the capital in 1563 due to fears of a Burmese invasion. During French rule, Vientiane was the administrative capital and, due to economic growth in recent times, it has now become the economic center of Laos.

The estimated population of the city is 800,000.


Vientiane is situated on a bend of the Mekong River, which forms the border with Thailand at this point. Although still a small city, the capital experiences a major influx of tourists. The city contains many temples and Buddhist monuments with Pha That Luang, a Buddhist stupa, one of the most famous in Laos. It is the most important national cultural monument and very popular amongst foreign tourists. The original was built in 1566 by King Setthathirath and was restored in 1953. The golden stupa is 45 meters tall and is believed to contain a relic of the Lord Buddha.

Another site that is also popular amongst tourists is Wat Si Muang, the memorial monument Patuxai, Buddha Park, Laos.

National Museum, Wat Si Saket, Hophakaew Museum, Black Stupa, and more…

vientiane site

This delightfully friendly capital, studded with crumbling French mansions, bougainvillea-blooming streets, and steaming noodle stalls, is somewhere between a big town and a diminutive city; the kind of place you might find a Graham Greene protagonist. Its conveniently compact travelers’ enclave is based around Nam Phu, the Mekong riverside, and Setthariat and Samsenthai streets.

Full of things to do and see. You’ll find yourself slowly won over by the easy charms of this evolving backwater. Spend a few days visiting its unusual sights, sampling its excellent food, and enjoying a Beer Lao at sunset by the river, and you’ll soon feel at home here.

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