Vientiane Travel Guide: How to get there, transport, attractions

This article has been translated from Russian language using an artificial intelligence-based translation algorithm. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the quality of the translation. You can read the original of this article in Russian here, and ask questions on the topic of our travel forum in English here.

General information, recreation

Vientiane is the capital of Laos and the largest city in the country. Located in the central part near the border with Thailand on the banks of the Mekong River (Vientiane on the map of Laos). The population of the city is a little more than 800 thousand people with all the suburbs.

Purposefully, people go to Vientiane for recreation very rarely, and most often they use it simply as a transit city. You can stay here for a day or two, which is enough to get acquainted with all its sights, but you should not stay longer.

Here is the main international airport of the country, Here Comes the railway line from Bangkok, there are many bus flights from the cities of Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. It is especially convenient to use Vientiane as a point of entry on land from Thailand, and from here to travel to other places in the country. It is also convenient to use the capital of Laos to extend a visa-free stay in Thailand, or to obtain a visa to Vietnam, Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries in embassies located here.

Vientiane view

Infrastructure in Vientiane

Vientiane does not give the impression of a capital when compared with other Southeast Asian countries. The city is quite small and looks more like a provincial town of Thailand, and is still developing. Nevertheless, the urban infrastructure here is well developed, and we can say that the tourist infrastructure is well developed.

Street in the center

In the center, on the streets at almost every turn, there are travel agencies, ticket sales for buses, trains (to Thailand) and airplanes, bicycle and motorcycle rental. What is convenient, you can buy any ticket to the cities of Laos and neighboring countries with delivery directly from the hotel, and it is even cheaper than if you get to the bus station or railway station yourself. There is a very useful Tourist Information Center with free maps and brochures (Information Center on the map). In travel agencies you can buy ready-made sightseeing tours to attractions in the province of Vientiane and even to the farthest corners of the country. Conveniently, all these same services are sold in hotels, and you will only have to go around a few places and compare prices, as they can be very different for the same ticket or excursion.

Tourist services are here at every turn

Shopping in Vientiane is poorly developed. There is almost no civilized trade in large shopping centers, and prices are even higher than in neighboring countries, although, of course, everything depends on the place of purchase and your ability to bargain. In fact, there are only two shopping malls in the center: Talat Sao Shopping Mall and the new modern Naga Mall (WTC World Trade Center). True, Naga Mall has not yet been fully launched (in 2020). There are still several shopping centers on the outskirts of the city, but for tourists they are not interesting. Basically, clothing trade is conducted in the markets, and small grocery purchases can be made in one of the many minimarkets M-point, Mini Big C and others. For inexpensive souvenirs, handicrafts, Gray electronics and fakes, you can go to the two-story Morning Market, but there you need to bargain well. Also, be sure to visit the trading platforms at the two night markets on the embankment: there are a lot of souvenirs and manufactured goods for sale, but, again, you need to bargain, and then the prices will be very low.

Morning Market

You can have a delicious meal in Vientiane in one of the many tourist cafes and restaurants (more expensive) around the NAM Phu fountain, or go to the waterfront in one of the evening restaurants or food courts overlooking the Mekong River and Thailand on the other bank. You can find establishments of European cuisine, pizzerias, and even a restaurant of Russian cuisine "PRIVET", but it is located far on the outskirts of the capital. But there are no international chain restaurants McDonald's, Burgerking, etc. To eat inexpensively, you can find one of the inexpensive local cafes in the center, use the local street fast food, or buy ready-made food in supermarkets M-point or Mini Big C. purchased semi-finished products or ready meals can be heated right in these stores, and consumed immediately on special tables.

Cafe in the center

For exotic insect food, head to Morning Market or the street market near Talat Sao bus station. But do not expect that insects are here at every turn, you will have to look, because today for the locals it is also exotic, and not cheap. And be sure to drink a cup of local natural coffee for 5000 kip at the Morning Market, it's just delicious.

Insects in the Morning Market
Prepare coffee in the market

Currency exchange, ATMs and banks come across in the city everywhere, but if you need to change a large amount at a favorable rate, it is best to go to the main street of the City Lane Xang Avenue, where on the site from the shopping center Talat Sao Mall towards the Arc de Triomphe there is a huge number of exchangers, banks, ATMs. Here you can exchange any international currency at the best rate in the country, but, of course, preference is given to US dollars and Thai Baht. The rate differs between banks and exchanges, and the best is offered in small private establishments in the alleys. Moreover, the exchange rate indicated on the plates is not always relevant, you need to clarify it directly from the money changers, and you can bargain when exchanging large amounts of more than $ 100.

Курс обмена валюты (лаосский кип) на сегодня ()

100 000 кип (LAK) = 440,01 рублей (RUB)
100 рублей (RUB) = 22 727,00 LAK
1 доллар США (USD) = 13 266,90 LAK
1 евро (EUR) = 14 075,20 LAK
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График изменения курса валюты
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Exchange in the center of Vientiane

Best hotels to stay in Vientiane

Hotels, guest houses and hostels in Vientiane there are at least two hundred different categories and prices: there are five-star hotels cost less than $ 100 for two, and hostels are cheaper than $ 5 per bed. Many facilities include breakfast in the cost of accommodation, and this applies even to the cheapest options. This is usually a simple continental breakfast of scrambled eggs, toast, jam and butter, coffee or tea to choose from, but in general it is a good option to start the day and save time so as not to look for a place to eat in the morning.

Vientiane hotels

Hotels are scattered throughout Vientiane, but it is best to settle in the very center within walking distance to the bus station and shopping center Talat Sao and Nam Phu fountain (fountain on the map). So you will be close to the tourist infrastructure, a few attractions of the city center, and if necessary, with the help of Talat Sao city buses, you can get to other bus stations, the airport, Buddha Park and the Golden Pagoda that Luang.

Pick up and book accommodation in Vientiane on these sites or through the search form from Agoda:

Внимание! Системы Booking.com, Agoda, AirBnB, Trivago и другие иностранные сайты показали себя как крайне ненадежные партнеры и полностью закрыли возможность бронирования отелей и жилья на территории РФ, в том числе и с финансовыми потерями для граждан России. Если вам нужно забронировать размещение без последствий, советуем пользоваться российскими системами поиска и бронирования жилья и отелей, и избегать использование Booking.com, Agoda и др. Подробнее здесь...

Weather, seasons in Vientiane

It is possible to visit Vientiane at any time of the year, but it should be borne in mind that visiting during the rainy season (low season) can be slightly spoiled by prolonged rains:

  • The high season, also known as the dry season, lasts from October to April.. These are the driest months and the best time to visit the capital. In addition, it is also the coolest months of the year. Although the concept of "cool", of course, relative: just at this time is not as mercilessly hot as in the low season. The driest months are December and February.
  • The low season, also known as the rainy season, runs from May to September.. At this time, you can also go to Vientiane, but you can get on the long rains. And at this time it is very hot, the temperature often rises to 40 degrees.

Tourist seasons in Vientiane by month, when is the best time to go

Jan Feb March Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov. Dec
                       

* best time to visit;
acceptable time to visit;
not recommended time to visit

Current weather in Vientiane and forecast for the near future:

How to get to Vientiane

Vientiane is the main entry point for tourists. Although you can get to Laos by land from Cambodia and Vietnam, most often you get through Vientiane International Airport, or by land from Thailand, which can be done by train or bus. The land border crossing from Thailand passes over the friendship bridge between the countries across the Mekong River, and is only 20 kilometers from the city center. Further details about each of the methods:

Attention! When buying ready-made bus or train tickets to / from Vientiane to Thailand, please check whether there is a wait for a visa at the border (if necessary). The fact is that the passage of the border by non-tourist transport takes 10-20 minutes, while obtaining a visa can take 30 minutes or more. For citizens of the Russian Federation, this problem is not present, because a visa to Laos and Thailand is not required (see about the visa and visa regime of Laos here...), but for tourists from other countries this can be a big problem, because buses will not wait and will go on schedule even without some passengers.

  • By plane

    Vientiane Wattay International Airport (Wattay International Airport, IATA code - VTE) accepts only flights from neighboring Southeast Asian countries, you can get from Russia and other CIS countries here only with transfers. Prices are quite high, so tourists most often fly to Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, or Hanoi, and from there they get on the ground or buy a ticket separately by local budget airlines. Another option is to fly to the Thai border town of Udonthani, and from there take buses to cross the border. If you do not want to get involved with these difficulties, then here are a selection of the most profitable tickets to Vientiane:

    Prices for flights from Moscow to Vientiane:

    ЦЕНАПЕРЕСАДКИАВИАКОМПАНИЯДАТА ВЫЛЕТАДАТА ВОЗВРАЩЕНИЯ
    НАЙТИ ОТ 60369 ₽ 2 пересадки Лого авиакомпании 10.06.2022 19.06.2022
    НАЙТИ ОТ 74699 ₽ 2 пересадки Лого авиакомпании 01.07.2022 15.07.2022
    НАЙТИ ОТ 58435 ₽ 2 пересадки Лого авиакомпании 05.08.2022 02.09.2022
    НАЙТИ ОТ 59743 ₽ 2 пересадки Лого авиакомпании 30.09.2022 13.10.2022
    НАЙТИ ОТ 83620 ₽ 2 пересадки Лого авиакомпании 13.10.2022 27.10.2022

    Minimum prices for flights from Russia to Vientiane:

    ЦЕНАМАРШРУТПЕРЕСАДКИ
    НАЙТИ ОТ 58435 ₽ Москва ⇄ Вьентьян 2
    НАЙТИ ОТ 91890 ₽ Санкт-Петербург ⇄ Вьентьян 2
    НАЙТИ ОТ 110179 ₽ Сочи (Адлер) ⇄ Вьентьян 3
    НАЙТИ ОТ 144304 ₽ Калининград ⇄ Вьентьян 5
    НАЙТИ ОТ 145246 ₽ Екатеринбург ⇄ Вьентьян 3
    НАЙТИ ОТ 202689 ₽ Владивосток ⇄ Вьентьян 2

    Vientiane airport is five kilometers from the center (airport on the map), from which you can get:

    • Taxi. An airport taxi costs $ 10 to get to any hotel in the city and is a fixed price set by the government. But it is much cheaper to get there if you book a transfer at the hotel that you have booked. Many of them offer a transfer by motorcycle taxi for 30,000 Kip (2.26 USD) and on a machine for 50,000 (3.77 USD).
    • Knock, Knock. The trip will cost 20,000 Kip (1.51 USD), but for this you will have to go through the airport parking lot and then onto the main road, since tuk-tuks are not allowed to enter the airport.
    • City bus. City bus No. 44 (Airport Shutle) is the most budget way for single travelers. It can be reached to the Center for only 15,000 Kip (1.13 USD), run every 40 minutes from 07: 55 to 21: 40. Goes downtown to Talat Sao station (Talat Sao on the map), and also along the way can drop you off anywhere on demand. You can download the traffic map: open the map in a new window / download map
    Airport bus
  • By train

    You can get by train from Bangkok, but you will have to change trains or buses in the Thai border town of Nong Khai. In turn, a special international shuttle train runs from Nong Khai to the other side via The Friendship Bridge to Thanaleng station in Laos, but trains from Bangkok do not cross it, so you will need to change trains. But Everything is organized well, the schedules are docked, so there are no problems getting there.

    So, to get from Bangkok to Vientiane by train:

    • From Bangkok, trains depart 4 times a day to Nong Khai from Hua Lamphong station. The fare starts at 800 baht (26.26 USD, see the currency of Thailand and its exchange rate) Depending on the class of car and train, go 10 hours. How to buy train tickets and how to use trains in Thailand read here... book The Train Bangkok-Nong Khai and check the schedule can here...

    • At the railway station in Nogkkhai, immediately after arrival, buy a ready-made ticket for a shuttle train across the border+a minivan to Vientiane for 300 baht (INF USD), and go ahead. You can get there cheaper if you buy separately for 20 baht a ticket for a shuttle train across the border, and upon arrival at Thanaleng a ticket for a minivan for 150 baht. The minivan arrives at the Talat Sao bus station in the center (Talat Sao on the map).

      But it should be borne in mind that the route on the shuttle train is quite long due to the need for all tourists to obtain a visa. So there is another faster way. From the railway station Udothani on the Thai side, take a tuk-tuk to the border (5 minutes, 30 baht), cross the bridge and the border on foot, and on the other side take the city bus number 14 to the center of Vientiane for 8000 Kip, run every 15 minutes from 05:35 to 19:25.

    Train in Thailand
  • By bus

    Vientiane is accessible by bus from all major cities in Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and China. Arrive and depart from three stations:

    • Talat Sao Central Station. It serves commuter buses, minibuses to Vientiane, buses to Udon Thani and Nong Khai in Thailand. It is also the final stop of city buses. Located in the heart of the city (Talat Sao on the map).
    • Southern bus terminal (aka Dong Dok). It serves destinations to the south in Pakse, Savannaket, 4000 Islands, etc.; in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh (Cambodia); Da Nang, Hue, Hanoi, Vinh (Vietnam). You can get here from Talat Sao on city buses No. 23, No. 29 and regular tuk-tuks for 4000 kip (bus station on the map).
    • Northern bus terminal. It serves destinations north to Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng, Udomsai, Luangnamtha, Phonsavan, Phongsali and others, as well as buses to China. You can get here from Talat Sao by bus number 08 for 5000 Kip (0.38 USD), run every 30 minutes from 05: 40 to 18: 00 (bus station on the map).

    But if you need to leave Vientiane, it is best to buy tickets not at bus stations, but at travel agencies and hotels in the city, or online. In this case, the ticket will include delivery from the hotel to the bus station, and some tourist buses depart directly from the city center. Moreover, tickets in travel agencies are slightly more expensive than at the bus station. For example, a bus to Da Nang at the bus station costs 200,000 Kip, and in the city 210,000, and this price includes delivery from the hotel. In this situation, you will spend more for a trip to the station to pre-buy a ticket, and then once again get there directly for sending. It is better to buy tickets in advance at least one day before departure

    Bus at Vientiane bus station

    And now a little about bus schedules. It tends to change, so the information is given for guidance as of early 2021.:

    • Of Bangkok. From North Mor Chit bus station departure at 20:00, return at 18:00. The journey is 13 hours, from 900 baht (INF USD). There are also touring vans from Khao San District.
    • Of Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Pattaya, Pai. we were not able to find these routes in the schedule at any of the local bus stations, but tickets for them are widely sold in local travel agencies and hotels. These are ready-made transfers with a transfer to Udon Thani on another bus. Depart at 16: 30, and arrive in the morning the next day.
    • Of Vang Vieng. Buses and minwen leave at least every 30 minutes during the day. The journey is 3 hours, from 40,000 Kip.
    • Of Luang Prabang. At least 8 times a day on schedule, including night sleeping buses, 9 hours on the road, from 140,000 Kip.
    • Of Da Nang and Hue. Once a day at 18: 00, back at the same time. The journey is almost 24 hours, the cost is 400 000 VND (17.27 USD, see Vietnam's currency and exchange rate).
    • Of Hanoi and Vinh. Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 18: 00, back at the same time. The journey is almost 24 hours, the cost is 380 000 VND (16.4 USD).

    And here is the bus schedule of other transport from Vientiane that can be booked online:

    Самолет Вьентьян - Бангкок ₽ 4,471–10,731 1 ч. 5 м. – 1 ч. 20 м.
    •   Эконом 07:15, 11:40, 11:45, 13:20, 13:25, 18:30, 18:40, 20:30, 21:30
    •   Эконом 09:25, 09:30, 09:35, 09:45, 11:20, 11:25, 17:35, 18:35, 19:35, 20:30
    Автобус Вьентьян - Бангкок ₽ 2,519 14 ч.
    •   Экспресс 17:00
    •   ВИП 20:00
    Микроавтобус Вьентьян - Вангвьенг ₽ 511–810 4 ч. – 5 ч. 30 м.
    •   Региональный 14 мест 08:30, 09:30, 13:30
    •   Региональный 14 мест 09:00, 13:30
    Автобус Вьентьян - Ханой ₽ 1,588 1 д.
    •   Полу-спальный 17:00
    •   Полу-спальный 17:00
    Автобус Вьентьян - Паксе ₽ 1,350 11 ч. 30 м.
    •   Спальный 20:30
    •   Спальный 20:30
    •   Междугородный 19:30
    Автобус Вьентьян - Луанг Прабанг ₽ 1,620–1,782 13 ч.
    •   Стандарт с конд. 07:00
    •   Экспресс со спальным вагоном 41 18:00
    •   Спальный с Конд. 20:00

Transport in Vientiane, what to move

The center of Vientiane is small and most of the attractions and important tourist places can be reached on foot. Transportation may be necessary if you need to get to one of the bus stations, get to the border crossing to Thailand (Friendship Bridge), to the railway station of the branch line to Thailand, or visit Buddha Park. To do this, you can use rented transport, tuk-tuks, or city buses.

  • Transport rental

    Here you can rent a bicycle or motorbike. Bicycles are offered in many rental offices on the street or in hotels, you do not have to look for a long time. For the day of rental they ask from 10,000 Kip (0.75 traffic in the city is not very dense and quite slow, but there are no bike paths and parking for bicycles.

    Rented bike

    Rent motorbikes is rare, you have to look or ask the hotel where you stayed, you will be prompted by the nearest place. For the day of rental (not a day) they ask from 80 000 Kip (6.03 USD). To manage a motorcycle in theory, you need international rights with Category " A " but in practice, when renting a right, they do not ask, and police tourists on the road are touched very rarely. Nevertheless, we do not recommend taking risks, since it is in Vientiane that the chance of encountering traffic police is greater than anywhere else. see more all about renting motorbikes in Laos and what rights are needed here....

    Rent motorbikes

    An alternative to renting motorbikes can be an electric scooter, they do not need Rights. But you can move them only within the city, there is not enough charge for a long trip. You can rent them from 20,000 Kip per day (1.51 USD).

    You can also rent a car in Vientiane and at the airport. The cost is still quite high, but you can save if you take a car for a few days. You must have an international license to rent (see all about driving licenses abroad). You can rent a car on the website economybookings.com or sites of other aggregators that compare prices at different rental offices:

  • Taxi

    Car taxi is not yet common and is expensive. But over the years, the situation is changing, and cars are gradually replacing tuk-tuks and becoming cheaper. So far, it is reasonable to use a taxi only for a trip to the airport or to the border crossing, and in other cases it is cheaper and easier to use tuk-tuks.

    Taxi meters are not equipped, you need to agree on the price before the trip. Usually, for a price lower than 20,000 Kip, drivers will not even move, and for a trip within the center they ask for at least 50,000 kip, but you need to bargain. You can drive to the airport or the Friendship Bridge for $ 10 or 90,000 Kip, to the border crossing to Thailand for $ 13.

    Vientiane taxi
  • Tuk-tuks

    Tuk-tuks replace car taxis in Vientiane. They can be hired both for a short trip and on time for sightseeing trips. A trip within the city center should cost no more than 20,000 Kip (1.51 USD) ; to the bus station 50,000 Kip (3.77 USD) ; hiring for half a day about 200,000 Kip (15.08 consider that tuk-tuk drivers who circle popular tourist spots and offer tourists half-or full-day routes are asking for almost twice as much money as if you just find a driver on the street. But on the other hand, those who are on duty near tourist places, at least speak a little English.

    Knock-Knock
  • Buses

    It is the only city in the country where there is urban public transport. There are more than a dozen routes, and new ones are gradually being added. You can check their cost, routes on the map, and timetable on the website http://www.vientianebus.org.la. Better yet, download this map of Vientiane city bus routes to your smartphone: open the map in a new window / Download the map.

    The main point of arrival and departure in the city center is the Khua Din Bus Station, aka Talat Sao Bus Station, aka CBS-Capital Bus Station (Talat Sao on the map). This is something like the ultimate, and if you do not know where to take the bus you need, it's best to go here right away. Here on the wall of the building there is a map with routes, if you could not decide in advance on the right bus.

    City bus

    The fare depends on the route number and the length of the trip, and ranges from 4,000 to 20,000 Kip. It is paid in the bus to the conductor, sometimes to the driver. On Route No. 14, which goes from/to the border crossing with Thailand on the Friendship Bridge, travel can be paid in kippah, dollars (1 dollar), or Thai Baht (32 baht). There are bus stops for boarding and disembarking, but they are not mandatory, and drivers can easily skip them if they do not press the bell button. To get on the bus, you need to vote or wave to the driver, otherwise it will pass by.

    Here are the most useful routes for tourists:

    • №14. From Talat Sao to the border crossing (Friendship Bridge with Thailand) and to Buddha Park. It costs 8000 Kip, run every 15 minutes from 05: 35 to 19: 25.
    • №44. From Talat Sao to the airport. Costs 19 000 Kip (1.43 USD), run every 40 minutes from 07: 55 to 21: 40.
    • №08. From Talat Sao to the northern bus terminal. Costs 5000 Kip (0.38 USD), run every 30 minutes from 05: 40 to 18: 00.
    • №29. From Talat Sao to the southern bus terminal. Costs 4000 Kip (0.3 USD), run every 15-20 minutes from 06: 00 to 18: 33.

Attractions, things to see and do

In Vientiane there are several dozen temples, several museums, a night market, a couple of architectural historical attractions, a Buddha Park with statues. All this can be viewed in one day on rented transport, or a maximum of two days if you use city buses or tuk-tuks.

Despite the fact that the capital is considered a temple city, there are only three really interesting temples here: the oldest temple of the city of Sisaket (Wat Si Saket); the most revered Simyang (Wat Si Muang); the temple and the golden stupa that Luang (Pha That Luang). It so happened that most of the local temples were destroyed by the waxes of Siam in the XIX century, and therefore all that you can see today are restored or rebuilt. If you want to see really beautiful temples with history, it is better to go straight to Luang Prabang.

However, Vientiane is one of the most convenient points to start traveling to other attractions in the country. From here, ready-made excursion group and individual tours are offered to almost all corners of the country, and, often, they are cheaper than if you organize a trip yourself. Such excursions are offered in hotels and travel agencies, of which there are a lot in the center. You will only have to go around them and compare prices.

To get more information about the country and decide where to go, we recommend visiting the Tourist Information Center on Lane Xang Avenue (Information Center on the map). In it you can get advice, take free maps and whole books-guides to the country and provinces. The center is open from 07:30 to 12:00 and 13:00 to 16:00 seven days a week.

If you want to have fun, then in Vientiane you can do yoga, bowling, visit a massage parlor or sauna, go through spa treatments. But there are no large-scale entertainment like zoos, water parks, or attractions here. In the evening, you can walk to the embankment, where there are two night markets, sit in a cafe or restaurant in the center near the fountain. There are nightclubs and bars with girls and boys, but exercise caution as under local laws sex outside of marriage is punishable by heavy fines.

And now a list and description of the sights of Vientiane, indicating the opening hours, cost, and ways to get to them:

  • Pha That Luang temple and stupa

    That Luang temple and stupa Vientiane

    The great golden stupa of that Luang (Pha That Luang) is the most photographed place in Vientiane, and the main symbol of the city and the country as a whole. Her image can be seen on souvenirs and postcards, and it's definitely the # 1 popular attraction to see in Vientiane. The stupa is surrounded around the perimeter by a large concrete structure like a fence, the entrance to the courtyard of which is paid for tourists. The museum here, of course, is symbolic, because its most important exhibit is the stupa itself. You can not get inside the stupa, inspection only from the outside. If you do not want to pay an entrance fee, you can inspect it from the side without passing inside the courtyard, because from the side it looks even more majestic. Learn more about that Luang temple and stupa here...

    🕐 Working hours: 8: 00-17: 00, seven days a week. You can view the temples and stupa from the outside without entering the courtyard at any time.

    🚶 Entrance fee / tickets price: 10,000 Kip (0.75 USD, see Lao currency and exchange rate).

    🚶 How to get there: the stupa is located 3 kilometers from the city center (Stupa on the map). Theoretically you can walk here, but it is easier to take the Central Bus Station and the final Talat Sao bus number 10 (ITECC-Talat Sao), run every 40 minutes from 09:20 to 16:45 (the last bus back), 4000 Kip. Alternatively, you can walk from the stupa through the park to the army and Police Museum, and from there take buses No. 23 or No. 29 for 4000 Kip.

  • Buddha Park

    Vientiane Buddha Park

    Buddha Park in Vientiane (Buddha Park, also Xieng Khuan, which means "spiritual city") consists of several dozen statues of Buddhist and Hindu religions. There are statues of deities and scenes from important historical religious events, and the park itself is decorated with flower beds and equipped with paths for walking. It is believed that this is one of the must-visit places in Vientiane, but at the same time do not expect too much: yes, it is spectacular, but without a tour or proper knowledge you will not understand anything here, but only be able to take a dozen photos. The visit will take at most 30 minutes. Learn more about Buddha Park here...

    🕐 Working hours: 08:00 – 17:00, seven days a week.

    🚶 Entrance fee / tickets price: 15,000 Kip (1.13 USD).

    🚶 How to get there: the park is located 25 kilometers from Vientiane on the banks of the Mekong River, which runs along the border between Laos and Thailand (Park on the map). You can get here by tuk-tuk hired as a taxi for 150,000 kip in both directions or by city bus number 14. the bus departs from the Talat Sao bus station in the city center every 15 minutes.

  • Wat Si Muang Temple

    Wat Simyang temple in Vientiane

    This temple is not as popular and famous among tourists as, for example, the huge golden stupa that Luang, but for locals it is one of the most sacred places in the city. The fact is that on its territory there is a city shrine or temple pillar (City Pillar Shrine). Buddhists believe that it is in him that the spirit lives-the protector of the city. It is believed that this pillar is more than 1000 years old. Learn more about wat Simyang here...

    🕐 Working hours: 08:00 – 18:00, seven days a week.

    🚶 Entrance fee / tickets price: free, donations are welcome.

    🚶 How to get there: the temple is located in the center of the city (temple on the map), it is easily accessible on foot from most hotels or take any bus to the final bus station Khua Din Bus Station (Talat Sao bus station), and from there 15 minutes on foot. The city shrine is not located on the territory of the temple complex, but next to it (shrine on the map).

  • Phakeo temple and Museum / Hor Prakheo

    Phakeo temple and Museum Vientiane

    The Phakeo Museum (Hor Prakheo, also Haw Pha Kaeo) was formerly the main royal temple and is now a museum housing a collection of Buddhist art. Basically, these are all kinds of Buddha statues, and other religious paraphernalia, the purpose of which is difficult to understand without appropriate knowledge. There are no explanatory inscriptions. Photography inside is prohibited.

    🕐 Working hours: 08:00 – 17:00, seven days a week.

    🚶 Entrance fee / tickets price: 10,000 Kip (0.75 USD).

    🚶 How to get there: located in the city center (temple on the map) within walking distance from Khua Din Bus station (Talat Sao bus station).

  • Temple Sisaket / Wat Si Saket

    Sisaket temple in Vientiane

    Sisaket temple is considered to be the oldest temple in Vientiane. It was built in 1819-1824, and by the standards of Buddhist temples in neighboring Asian countries is quite young. But the fact is that in 1827, during the invasion of Siam (Thailand), the city and all its temples, with rare exceptions, were burned.

    It is now known as the temple of the 10,000 Buddhas because it houses a huge number (claimed to be all 10,000) of all kinds of Buddha statues. It consists of two parts: the courtyard of the temple, which is available to visit for free; and the museum for a fee, where the statues are stored. Photography inside the museum is prohibited.

    🕐 Working hours: 08:00 – 17:00, seven days a week.

    🚶 Entrance fee / tickets price: 10,000 Kip (0.75 USD).

    🚶 How to get there: located in the city center (temple on the map) within walking distance from Khua Din Bus station (Talat Sao bus station).

  • The Arc de Triomphe of Patuxai in Vientiane

    Triumphal Arch of Patusai in Vientiane

    It is one of the most iconic architectural and historical places in Vientiane. Officially, the Arch is called the Victory Monument, and is also known as the victory Gate. It is a copy of the Paris Arc de Triomphe, while dedicated to the fighters for independence from France. It was built in 1957-1969 with funds and cement allocated by the United States for the construction of a new airport, but is still considered an object of unfinished construction. Upstairs there is a viewing platform with a great view of the city. Learn more about the Arc de Triomphe of Patuxai here...

    🕐 Working hours: 08:00 - 16:00, seven days a week.

    🚶 Entrance fee / tickets price: entrance is free, but access to the observation deck is 3,000 Kip (0.23 USD).

    🚶 How to get there: located in the city center, most places and the Talat Sao bus station can be reached on foot (arch on the map).

  • Nam Phou Fountain

    Nam Phu fountain in Vientiane

    Nam Phu fountain itself is unremarkable, but it is the main point of reference for tourists, and in fact the tourist center of the city. Around the fountain there are many sterile tourist cafes and restaurants, there are bars, musicians perform on the stage in the evenings. If you are alone and do not know where to go in the evening in Vientiane, then go right here, and for sure you will meet other similar tourists here. And from here you can start your fun.

    🕐 Working hours: starts working after dark at 18-19 hours.

    🚶 Entrance fee / tickets price: free.

    🚶 How to get there: located in the center (fountain on the map).

  • Night market

    Vientiane night market

    In the park along the embankment with the arrival of darkness begins to work night street market (Night Market). This is a commodity market with clothes, souvenirs, electronics, all at very low prices. For example, consumer souvenirs like magnets, purses, handicrafts from coconuts, etc. here are two to three times cheaper than at evening markets or in shops in tourist cities. Also very low prices for clothes and shoes, but you need to bargain and carefully check the quality. But even if you are not going to buy anything, it is worth visiting the market as an attraction with a special atmosphere, and try the local street fast food.

    🕐 Working hours: the market starts working with the arrival of darkness at 18-19 hours.

    🚶 Entrance fee / tickets price: free.

    🚶 How to get there: located in a park along the waterfront (Night Market on the map).

  • Night Bazaar on the Waterfront / Night Bazar

    Vientiane Waterfront Night Bazaar

    This is another area for evening absenteeism in Vientiane. The Night Bazaar stretches on the waterfront parallel to the night market across the street from it, but is strikingly different. It is more equipped and civilized, here trade is conducted in pavilions, and not from stalls and tents. The territory of the embankment is decorated with fountains, beautiful lighting, and there is even a children's amusement park with simple attractions. Prices here are not much higher, but there are restaurants with good sanitary condition and views of the river, and a good street food court.

    🕐 Working hours: the market starts working with the arrival of darkness at 18-19 hours.

    🚶 Entrance fee / tickets price: free.

    🚶 How to get there: located in a park along the waterfront (Night Bazaar on the map).

  • Police Museum / Police Museum

    Vientiane Police Museum

    The police museum or people's Public Security Museum is a fairly large museum dedicated to public order and people protection activities, including fire safety. It could be unremarkable, but for tourists of the older generation from the former republics of the USSR it is just a pearl. The museum presents a lot of exhibits from the USSR, donated or delivered to the Fraternal Socialist Republic. Be sure to check here if possible.

    🕐 Working hours: 08: 00-11:30 and 13:30-16: 00 from Monday to Friday, Saturday and Sunday are closed.

    🚶 Entrance fee / tickets price: free.

    🚶 How to get there: located three kilometers from the center (Museum on the map). You can get here by bus number 23, number 29 for 4000 Kip. It is best to combine a visit with a trip to the That Luang stupa and the military museum, which are within walking distance.

  • Military Museum / Lao People's Army Museum

    Vientiane Military Museum

    Another museum where you can remember the former power of the Soviet Union and the strong friendship between the two countries. At the time of our visit (in 2019), the museum building was closed for reconstruction, and there is no information about the resumption of work. But you can quite calmly inspect the street exhibition of large military equipment. Of course, most of it is supplies from the USSR, many of which still have the signatures "made in the USSR". And to the credit of the Laotians, it is worth noting that the exhibits are in perfect condition, unlike some similar Russian museums.

    🕐 Working hours: the museum building is under reconstruction, you can view the site of large military equipment from 08:00 to 11:30 and from 13:30 to 16:00. Monday is a day off.

    🚶 Entrance fee / tickets price: site inspection is free, entrance to the museum is 5000 Kip.

    🚶 How to get there: located three and a half kilometers from the center (Museum on the map), you can get there by bus # 23, # 29 for 4000 Kip. It is best to visit it at the same time as the Police Museum and that Luang Pagoda, which can be reached on foot from here.

  • National Museum of Laos / Lao National Museum

    National Museum

    This museum has been under renovation for several years, and it moved from the old building to the new one, and is still closed (in 2019). Inside, an exhibition will be presented, telling about the history of the country, starting from ancient times; about its natural resources and culture. In the meantime, you can instead visit the nearby Museum of Comrade Kaysone Phomvihane (Kaysone Phomvihane Museum), who led Laos from 1975 to 1992.

    🕐 Working hours: the museum is under reconstruction.

    🚶 Entrance fee / tickets price: 10,000 Kip (0.75 USD).

    🚶 How to get there: located quite far from the city center (Museum on the map), you can get there by bus # 23, # 29 for 4000 Kip.

  • Textile Museum / Lao Textile Museum

    Textile Museum

    The textile museum is deservedly considered the most interesting museum in Vientiane, and you can even say the whole country. First of all, he talks about the traditional craft of making fabrics and painting them, but in addition there are cooking classes, traditional music lessons, and a master class on working with fabrics.

    🕐 Working hours: 09: 00-16: 00, seven days a week. Master classes are held several times a week according to the schedule, you can specify the time in the museum'S FB group.

    🚶 Entrance fee / tickets price: 30,000 Kip (2.26 USD).

    🚶 How to get there: located three kilometers from the center (Museum on the map), you will have to get there by tuk-tuk for 20,000 kip, or rented transport.

  • Black stupa / That Dam

    Black Stupa

    The black stupa (That Dam) is one of the historical sights of Vientiane, but when it appeared, unfortunately, is unknown. It is built of old brick and was once completely plastered and covered with gold. But now the plaster had partially fallen off and blackened, and the exposed surfaces were covered with grass, giving the stupa the noble appearance of an ancient ruin. Locals believe that a seven-headed naga (snake) lived in the stupa, protecting the city, but she left this place in 1827 during the invasion of the Siamese Army.

    🕐 Working hours: around the clock.

    🚶 Entrance fee / tickets price: free.

    🚶 How to get there: located in the city center (Stupa on the map).

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admin 5 Nov, 2021
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