Copyright Chris Frost 2019 | All Rights Reserved

Vientiane, Laos

Vientiane is Laos’s capital and largest city, situated on the Mekong River near the border with Thailand. Vientiane became the capital in 1563 due to fears of a Burmese invasion. Vientiane was the administrative capital during French rule and, due to recent economic growth, is now Laos’s economic centre.

Vientiane, the capital and largest city of Laos, is a charming and relatively laid-back city situated on the banks of the Mekong River in Southeast Asia. Here are some key features that describe Vientiane:

  1. French Colonial Influence: Vientiane bears the imprint of French colonial architecture, seen in structures such as the Presidential Palace, the Patuxai Victory Monument, and various villas around the city.
  2. Buddhist Temples: The city is home to several beautiful Buddhist temples, including Wat Si Saket, known for its thousands of Buddha statues, and Pha That Luang, a golden stupa that is a national symbol of Laos.
  3. Mekong River: The Mekong River flows alongside Vientiane, providing scenic views and a relaxing atmosphere. The riverside area is often visited for its evening strolls and sunset views.
  4. Relaxed Atmosphere: Compared to many other capital cities in the region, Vientiane maintains a more relaxed and easygoing atmosphere. It offers a break from the hustle and bustle commonly associated with larger cities.
  5. Culinary Scene: Vientiane boasts a diverse culinary scene, featuring a mix of Lao, French, and other international cuisines. Visitors can enjoy local dishes like laap (a minced meat salad), sticky rice, and fresh Mekong fish.
  6. Buddhist Culture: Buddhism plays a significant role in the culture of Vientiane, and visitors often have the opportunity to witness religious ceremonies and rituals at the temples scattered throughout the city.
  7. Night Market: The Vientiane Night Market along the Mekong River is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. It offers a variety of handicrafts, textiles, and local products.
  8. Friendliness of the Locals: Visitors often note the friendly and welcoming nature of the people in Vientiane. The city has a community feel that adds to its appeal.

Overall, Vientiane is a blend of cultural richness, historical significance, and a relaxed pace of life, making it an attractive destination for those seeking a more tranquil experience in Southeast Asia.

I hired a moped and was given a very nice pink helmet – but it did give me a chance to explore the city while others went shopping.

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