Are you ready to discover Southeast Asia? Find out where to stay in Vientiane, the Laotian capital!
The capital of Laos, Vientiane is the country’s largest city by its surface area and population, which was estimated at 783,000 in 2013. The city is located on the left bank of the Mekong River – serving as the border with nearby Thailand at Nong Khai. Although travelers usually show little interest in Vientiane which they generally prefer to ignore, the Laotian capital is nevertheless charming in many ways, a quiet city with a beautiful historical and cultural heritage to discover. As is often the case in Asia, you won’t have trouble finding a place to stay in Vientiane, as the city offers a vast array of affordable accommodation options.
So where to stay in Vientiane? Since the Laotian capital is a rather small city, we recommend looking for accommodation in the city center, close to the Mekong River, between Fa Ngum Quay and Khun Bu Lom Road, or around the famous Patuxai monument. Find out where to stay in Vientiane.
In the City Center
Situated near the banks of the Mekong River, the city center houses an array of old French-style edifices dating back to colonial times, as well as more recent Soviet-style buildings (Laos has been administered by a communist regime since 1975). In the old town, make sure you take the time to visit the Buddhist temples, starting at Wat Si Saket – which features a cloister wall with more than 2,000 ceramic and silver Buddha images -, Wat Phra Kéo (now a museum of sacred art), Wat Si Muang, and Wat Ong Teu. Also, don’t miss the Lao National Museum, highlighting the revolution of the 1970s, and the people’s rebellion to free the country from foreign occupiers and imperialist forces.
A night market is held on the banks of the Chao Anouvong Park, home to the impressive statue of King Anouvong, one of the city’s most emblematic sculptures. Shopping-wise, the city center has much to offer: Vientiane is world-renowned for its trade in cotton, silk, silver jewelry, draperies, and scarves. Home to the majority of the city’s youth hostels and hotels, the city center is one of the best places to stay in Vientiane. The area features many bars and restaurants, and travel agencies to help you prepare the rest of your Asian getaway.
Outside the City Center
Avenue Lane Xang – reminiscent of the famous “Champ-Elysées” avenue in Paris, France,- is home to the Presidential Palace and a war monument called Patuxai (literally meaning Victory Gate or Gate of Triumph), along with numerous other edifices housing the country’s political institutions. You’ll also find an array of restaurants, cafés, and shops of all kinds along Nongbone Road. Don’t miss a stroll through the bustling alleyways of the “Morning Market” (also called “Talat Sao”), which, as its name suggests, opens very early in the morning. As is often the case in this region, similarly toThailand to, eating on the street will be cheaper than cooking at home.
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