Destination

City

Vientiane

Vientiane

Country

Lao PDR

Clear

Weather

20 °C

Local Time

Currency

Lao kip

Explore Vientiane

Vientiane often surprises with its relaxing and serene atmosphere, which prevails despite it being the capital of Laos. This city of 3,920 square kilometers became the country’s administrative seat since the 16th century, thus making it the home of numerous historical landmarks and ancient monuments of religious significance. The former French colony is also the perfect place to watch the sun set along the Mekong River, with a bottle of Beerlao in your hand.

Explore Other Must Do in Vientiane

There are many places that you can visit. Here are the destination for you to eat, shop, see or do. Explore them!

  • Talat Sao

    Talat Sao

    To Shop

    Talat Sao brings together the old and the new by allowing visitors to shop in either a shopping mall or a morning market, if not both. The former is an air-conditioned getaway from the heat of Vientiane that is also equipped with a cinema, while the latter prides itself on offering a wide range of goods at affordable prices. The morning market is also a good treat for the haggler in you!

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  • Pha That Luang

    Pha That Luang

    To See

    Pha That Luang shoots into Laotian skies with its golden radiance and a height of 45 metres. The monument is enclosed by a similarly golden wall that is dressed with images of Buddha. It is said to contain a piece of Buddha’s breastbone that was brought to Laos by representatives of Ashoka during the 3rd century BC.

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  • Jaew Mak Len

    Jaew Mak Len

    To Eat

    Where the Mexicans have salsa sauce, Laotians have jaew mak len. This spicy, sweet and slightly smoky sauce is best enjoyed with sticky rice, raw vegetable like cucumbers and crispy chips. It prominently features tomatoes as a main ingredient, along with chillies, garlic and—as you probably may have already guessed—fish sauce.

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  • Wat Si Saket

    Wat Si Saket

    To See

    The Buddhist monastery that is Wat Si Saket dates back to the 19th century, when it was built by King Anouvong near his palace. This ancient landmark contains a museum that houses more than 10,000 different images of Buddha. The temple is also the home of ancient Buddhist manuscripts, stored safely in its library, signifying its status as one of the main worship places in Vientiane.

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  • Larb

    Larb

    To Eat

    There’s a certain refreshing quality in larb which makes it such a popular dish in Laos. Some say that this stems from the combination of lime juice, lemongrass and mint leaves which features heavily in this salad. Its other major component is minced chicken or pork that is seasoned with herbs, spices and toasted rice that has been into a fine powder.

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  • Wat Si Muang

    Wat Si Muang

    To See

    Wat Si Muang plays an important role in Vientiane’s history and culture, particularly in the domain of spirituality. This is because it hosts a city pillar, which is the home of a guardian spirit that is said to protect Vientiane from harm. Legends tell of a pregnant woman named Si Muang who sacrificed herself during the construction of this pillar, hence leading to the temple being named after her.

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  • Tum Khao Poon

    Tum Khao Poon

    To Eat

    Tum khao poon—which literally means ‘pounded rice vermicelli’—is a classic way of enjoying rice vermicelli in Lao PDR. Incorporating ingredients like chillies, green papaya, fish sauce and lime juice, this salad can either be eaten as a side dish or as an entire meal on its own.

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  • Patuxai

    Patuxai

    To See

    Echoing the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, the Patuxai Victory Monument stands proudly in the heart of Patuxai Park. It is a tribute to Laos’ culture that was built in between 1957 and 1968. Five towers that depict five core principles of Buddhism—flexibility, honour, honesty, thoughtful amiability and prosperity—define this monument, along with four arches that each face one cardinal direction.

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  • Cheun Yaw

    Cheun Yaw

    To Eat

    Cheun yaw is a snack of sorts that Laotians can be seen eating regularly, as it is both delicious and easy to eat. These deep-fried spring rolls contain flavourful servings of fresh vegetables and meat, and are ideally eaten with a chilli-infused peanut dipping sauce. Variations of this snack include a version that is not deep-fried (yall dib), which is better for those who’d like something a little healthier to munch on.

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  • Vientiane Night Market

    Vientiane Night Market

    To Shop

    Vientiane’s night market, which unfolds along the Mekong River, is a good place to go to for souvenirs and gifts. These pieces of Laos to be taken home do not necessarily come cheap though, so be ready to bargain for lower prices. You may want to have a meal before visiting as well, as the market is not known to be densely populated with food stalls.

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  • Khao Poon

    Khao Poon

    To Eat

    Many countries in Southeast Asia have their own renditions of soupy noodle dishes, and khao poon shows that this applies to Lao PDR as well. Rice vermicelli is soaked in a broth of coconut milk, fish sauce, kaffir lime leaves and other herbs and spices to create this dish. It commonly features pounded chicken, fish or pork as well. Some consider it to be a relative of laksa.

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  • Lao National Museum

    Lao National Museum

    To Do

    The Lao National Museum is a special treat for all you history buffs out there. From pieces of old pottery to dinosaur bones and ancient sculptures, the museum gives you the chance to take a walk through time—the Laotian way. It also depicts the history of Laos intricately, including the periods of occupation by Siam and the French colonization.

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  • Kaysone Phomvihane Memorial

    Kaysone Phomvihane Memorial

    To See

    The Kaysone Phomvihane Memorial Museum was built to commemorate the former president of Laos by the same name. The interior design scheme of this complex is heavily influenced by that of Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh Museum in Hanoi, while its exterior gleams proudly with Laos’ unique style of architecture. A bronze statue of the president stands in front of the complex, welcoming guests.

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  • Khao Lam

    Khao Lam

    To Eat

    Savouring khao lam is a good way to end any meal in Lao PDR. This rich dessert, which is the product of fusing sticky rice, sugar, coconut milk, grated coconut and red beans in a bamboo tube, is best eaten hot and freshly roasted. It is also a popular dessert in neigbouring Thailand. Be careful not to over-indulge though, as it can be a filling delicacy!

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  • Buddha Park

    Buddha Park

    To Do

    You will probably find yourself rather intrigued upon visiting Vientiane’s Buddha Park, or as the locals call it, Xieng Khuan. This is because the park uniquely combines Hinduism and Buddhism in one setting, bringing together over 200 statues and sculptures that are inspired by both religions. Its highlights include a massive statue of the Reclining Buddha, as well as an entrance that is meant to resemble a demon’s mouth.

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