The capital city of Laos! With its French influence, this bustling city is likely to be one of your stops through Laos. For most people, Vientiane is merely a quick stop off point on their journey South, or North. That being said, if you get the chance to spend one or two nights in this capital city, we recommend it. With great food, unique cafes and museums filled with history, there is bound to be something for you to enjoy! This is our travel guide to Vientiane,
Vientiane is a central hub for Laos. A busy city worth exploring even if it lacks some of the charm that other smaller towns in Laos have.
HOW TO GET THERE
Getting to Vientiane is relatively easy. You can arrive via plane, or bus. For us, we traveled from the North, down to the South and took the bus from Vang Vieng. The bus ride took about 4 hours by mini van. If you’re coming up from the South however, from Pakse, then a night bus will be your best bet, as the averaging time can be around 8-9 hours.
Travel Guide To Vientiane
THINGS TO DO
If you have read any history on Laos, then you will know that Laos was indirectly apart of the Vietnam war. As the number one bombed country in the world, the people of Laos have and still go through a lot on a daily basis. To this day, there remains thousands of untapped bombs/cluster bombs all around Laos. Children have been known to play with these bombs, mistaking them for toys and let’s just say the outcome is horrific. Due to the lack of knowledge and understanding of these powerful weapons, many people have lost limbs and even lives.
The COPE centre of rehabilitation teaches visitors of the devastating past, as well as the current fear that the people of Laos face. They work to create prosthetics for those who have been injured by the bombs. If you are in Vientiane we strongly suggest you visit the COPE centre to learn more for yourself. Entry is free, however they do suggest a donation for their charity. We both donated and purchased a small handmade ornament for our Christmas tree.
This French inspired war monument is located in the centre of Vientiane and is a great place to snap a few photos. The monument itself was built to honour those who fought in the struggle for independence from France. It is a truly spectacular monument.
If you have been on the road for a while and you miss a good movie night do not worry! Vientiane has an enormous cinema, perfect for you to catch up on the latest box office thrillers. We went to see Avengers End Game one afternoon and it was the perfect way to escape the heat!
One distinct feature of Vientiane is the variety of cafes found on every corner. Perfect for any digital nomad, you can work on your laptop and enjoy an ice cold coffee.
Each night there is a massive night market along the river. Hundreds of stalls aligned serving up classic traditional food, as well as sweet treats. It is really fun to go in the early evening to watch the sun set and stroll through all that the market has to offer.
Travel Guide To Vientiane
WHERE TO EAT
Pizza da Roby (PDR)
You guys! This place was the bomb! We were desperate for real Italian and this place seriously had it all. We would have eaten here multiple times if we weren’t on such a backpackers budget! The pizza was phenomenal and so was the wine. If you are looking for authentic Italian be sure you stop by this pizza joint and grab a pie.
Where To Stay
For a cheap easy going hostel, located near some great cafes and PDR’s pizza. Then be sure to check out this hostel.
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