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Best Places to Visit in Vientiane of 2017

  • 01 Vat that Khao

    Vat that Khao
    Image Credit : Vat that Khao
    This place is situated right beside a place called Vat That Luang which is believed to be the most sacred and believed place in Lao. The place called Luang was established in the 300bc and is believed to be the most sacred as it contain the sacred relic in the form of Buddha’s breastbone. That Khao is believed to be a beautiful and splendid reclining in the form of biggest Buddha situated in the Lao. It is however thought of as big as the Wat Pho which is located in the Bangkok.

     

    However as in Thailand where there are many places of tourist attraction and that almost attracts the tourists towards them, this place is devoid of such tourist attraction. This place is famous for its Buddhist temple and is located across the road in place called Royal Park. Tourists are said to be attracted towards this place because of the Buddhist temple that are situated right there and is famous for it only.


  • 02 COPE Visitor Centre

    COPE Visitor Centre
    Image Credit : COPE Visitor Centre
    If you visit beautiful Lao PDR, we invite you to come to the COPE Visitor Centre in Vientiane, where you can learn more about COPE. There are a range of things to see and do. Take time to wander through our large free exhibit where you will learn about the UXO problem in Lao PDR and the work undertaken by COPE and the CMR to provide disability services for people affected by UXOs.

    As part of the exhibition you can watch a number of excellent documentary films about UXOs and COPE. Inside the COPE Visitor Centre you will find our gift shop where you can purchase t-shirts, postcards, and other items or simply make a donation. You can also enjoy custom made ice cream and hot and cold drinks at our Karma Cafe.


    Highlights
    – Explore the free exhibit, Purchase unique gifts or make a donation Location – Boulevard Khouvieng, Vientiane, Laos

    Opening Hours
    : 9am to 6pm


  • 03 That Luang

    That Luang
    Image Credit : That Luang
    Laos is popular for Buddhist stupas. In the heart of Laos you will find Pha That Luang, which is covered with gold and huge in size. Pha That Luang was established before 5thcentury. The best time to visit the stupa in the morning after 8am or after 1pm. Closing time of the stupa is 4pm. You can rent the religious uniform of the stupa, if you want. This stupa is 45meters in height and made like pyramid in pattern. To enter you need to pay 50,000 kip.



    Luang had been through a lot. So this stupa has been reconstructed several times because of damage. Finally, a new design and art of the stupa was created by an architect from France in 18thcentury. Pha That Luang is so large that you need to have lot of time in your hand to explore the whole temple. This Lao culture will definitely impress you.


  • 04 Wat Sokpaluang

    Wat Sokpaluang
    Image Credit : Wat Sokpaluang
    Spas and massage shops are in plentiful supply in Vientiane, offering something for every budget. But for something more memorable, take the three kilometre trip out of the centre to Wat Sok Pa Luang, and down a path to the side of the temple you will find a rickety old jungle house offering Lao massage and traditional herbal spa; a hand-painted sign points the way.

    The traditional massage and herbal sauna experience at Wat Sok Pa Luang isn’t for everyone as the facilities are basic, on the other end of the spectrum to a fancy hotel spa treatment, without the sycophantic staff or exclusiveness. But what you do get is the most authentic experience, with true Laotian hospitality and massage beds so close to the forest you can reach out and touch it.



    Highlights
    – Healthy herbal sauna Lao-style, in the leafy grounds of Wat Sok Pa Luang.

    Location
    – Vientiane , Laos Opening

    Hours
    : 1pm to 7pm


  • 05 the National History Museum

    the National History Museum
    Image Credit : the National History Museum
    The visit to the museum is a matter of great excitement and joy. There is a great admiration for all the exquisite and all the historical work of art presented by two of the masters of the scientific illustration. The journey is further excited as we are on to embark through space with an amazing photographic exhibition done by the great Michael Benson.

     

    There is an experience to remember for with the 3D reality of the virtual world exploring the coral reef, the largest in the world. The people should pass through the center for the stunning cocoon by Darwin. It is a day to be the scientists for a single day and thus exploring the science center.


  • 06 Wat Sisaket

    Wat Sisaket
    Image Credit : Wat Sisaket
    Wat Si Saket situated in Vientiane is renowned for its group divider lodging a great many little Buddha pictures and lines with several situated Buddhas. These pictures for the most part date from the sixteenth and nineteenth hundreds of years and come in all sizes and are produced using wood, stone and bronze – more than 6,800 Buddhas altogether. In the event that meeting the sanctuary at a young hour in the morning, guests will go over the numerous local people that go to beg and make merit and in addition to offer nourishment to the friars. It is an enchanting day by day function to witness. The sanctuary is very shady as it is encompassed by tropical organic product trees.



    Highlights – Wat Si Saket, Vientiane, City on the Mekong, The Rugged Charm of the, Top of the Land of a Million Elephants

    Opening Hours: Daily from 08:00 – 16:00

    Location: On Lan Xang Road (across the street from the Presidential Palace), Vientiane

    Prices: 5,000 Kip per person.


  • 07 Mekong Riverside Park

    Mekong Riverside Park
    Image Credit : Mekong Riverside Park
    The Vientiane Night Market is aimed primarily towards tourists, with clean, orderly stalls, and all manner of merchandise that make great souvenirs or mementos. It all begins around sunset when a small army of sellers begin setting up their red-roofed stalls directly on the riverside promenade. You can’t fail to see it. The whole riverside area is alive at this time with joggers and dog-walkers taking advantage of the cooling breezes and stunning backdrop of the sun lazily sinking into the Mekong river.

    Products on offer are fairly typical of night markets throughout the region. You will find a predictable array of Buddhist-inspired paintings and knickknacks, cheap sunglasses, and Beer Lao T-shirts. The clothes stalls tend to be geared towards the backpacker market with fishermen pants and one-size-fits-all dresses and skirts.



    Highlights
    – Built in 1958 by Luang Pu Bunleua Sulilat, the three-headed elephant (aka Erawan and Airavata)

    Location
    – Night Market Quai Fa Ngum Vientiane Laos

    Best time to visit
    : 6pm to 7:30pm


  • 08 Wat Mixay

    Wat Mixay
    Image Credit : Wat Mixay
    The rooms at the modern-looking guesthouse are all air-con, come with a small cable TV, tile floor, hard spring mattress, some furniture and clean but teeny-tiny hot water bathrooms that could be the dictionary definition of “water closet”. This is a solid budget hotel with a more modern feel and English-speaking reception, which you don’t often get in this price range.

    We like the upper floors since they feel removed from the city busyness and some rooms, like #384, have two sets of windows. The owners are a friendly mob and there’s free WiFi in each room. It’s located right on a bustling corner, across from Wat Mixay, and the lobby has an attached cafe that’s a decent spot for emails and fruit shakes. With breakfast included in the tariff, this place is recommended.



    Highlights : One of the many Buddhist temples along Setthathilath Road in Vientiane, Laos.

    Location : Vientiane , Laos

    Opening Hours: 9am to 5pm


  • 09 Buddha Park

    Buddha Park
    Image Credit : Buddha Park
    Buddha Park (aka Xieng Khuan) is a famous sculpture park with more than 200 religious statues including a huge 40-metre high reclining Buddha image. The best spot for photography here is on top of the giant pumpkin structure standing about three stories high. The entrance is crafted to look like a demon’s mouth (about three metres high) with a stone ladder inside leading to a bird's eye view of the entire Xieng Kuan Park.

    The most outstanding ones include Indra, the king of Hindu gods riding the three-headed elephant (aka Erawan and Airavata), a four-armed deity sitting on a horse and an artistic deity with 12 faces and many hands, each holding interesting objects.



    Highlights
    – This explains why his park is full not only of Buddha images but also of Hindu gods as well as demons and animals from both beliefs.

    Location
    – Vientiane Capital

    Opening Hours-
     8am to 4pm


  • 10 Wat Chan

    Wat Chan
    Image Credit : Wat Chan
    To view Thailand in a completely new way, one needs to go through all the unseen and unvisited places in Thailand such as a four-hour long drive to a place called Ban Wat Chan. This place is situated in the opposite side of the border. This place is not that famous as other places situated nearby such as Pai. If we are to judge from other’s point of view, it can be said that this place is the most amazing thing, and the college students are yet to explore them for the small beautiful mountains present.

     

    It can be said that Wan Chan is the situated in the most ancient and isolated location. But with the beautiful environment there that has been untouched and unharmed by any. The roads are beautifully curved and are unused by any.


  • 11 Lao People's Army Museum

    Lao People's Army Museum
    Image Credit : Lao People's Army Museum
    The museum is situated in Vientiane in Laos, which is further located in the Defense Ministry on the Phomvihane road. This particular museum is said to establish in the year 1976. It is a house for all the important weapons and many such ancient tools and also contains the photographs of the army of the Lao People’s. These pictures were taken during the period starting from 1950 until the place was liberated and the people got independence leading to the establishment of their Democracy in the year of 1975.

     

    There is an exhibition that takes place right outside the main building. The exhibition is on different war vehicles and planes used in the war. There is a statue of Lao leader which is one of the important figures of that place. The gallery consists of many such stories of the different soldiers. The journey should be done with the help of a bus that leads towards Dongdok.  


    Top Things To Do in Lao People's Army Museum

  • 12 Wat Ong Theu

    Wat Ong Theu
    Image Credit : Wat Ong Theu
    It was then rebuilt in the 19th and 20th centuries and now holds an important position as the national centre of Buddhist studies. The temple is quite colourful, with bright yellow and red accents. Enter the sim and the Phra Ongteu, its namesake large bronze Buddha, dominates in a serenely seated bhumisparsa mudra “earth witness” posture, signifying the moment just before he attained enlightenment.

    Though the temple is not the most spectacular, its central downtown location makes it a convenient place to go for a meditative stroll. The wat is home to Sangha College, which was first established in 1929 by Prince Phetsarath and Somdet Phra Loukeo Outhen Sakda, head of the Lao sangha and Governor of Vientiane.



    Highlights
    – This temple is one of the most important in Laos, Rebuilt in the early 20th century.

    Location
    – Vientiane , Laos


  • 13 Houey Hong Vocational Training Centre for Women

    Houey Hong Vocational Training Centre for Women
    Image Credit : Houey Hong Vocational Training Centre for Women
    Houey Hong Vocational Training Centre for Women was established originally to provide training in the art of weaving for Lao women from poor backgrounds. Over time, with funding from international non-governmental organizations, the training centre has expanded its scope to include minority ethnic groups and disabled folk. The Centre was founded by Japanese-educated Chanthasone Inthavong in 1998, and offers short courses in weaving, dyeing, sewing and small business administration.

    Together with the job placement programme, it hopes to help generate income for people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Situated seven km from Vientiane city centre in a Houey Hong Village, Chanthabury District, the centre is surrounded by a pleasant garden.


    Highlights
    : The sporadic nature of its funding means that the centre has to support itself and it does so by selling crafts made on the premises and offering tailoring services.

    Opening Hours
    : Monday through Saturday 08:30 – 12:00, 13:30 - 16:30

    Location
    : Houey Hong Village, Chanthabury District


    Top Things To Do in Houey Hong Vocational Training Centre for Women

  • 14 The Presidential Palace

    The Presidential Palace
    Image Credit : The Presidential Palace
    The presidential palace is often another name for the residence officially booked for the presidents in different countries. In some countries, however, they are not called by that name. The buildings there are only used to do all the official work and not just for the resident of the president. Some palaces are official residents given to the monarchs who were preserved during the transformation into republics.



    The owner of Phil and Diane opened a Presidential palace before being a celebrity photographer. The palace is said to consist of the biggest and largest dance floor and is said to accommodate more than 500 people. However to talk about only Presidential palace which is situated in almost all the countries are equally famous and beautifully created. It is often the workplace for the Presidents. They are differently arranged in different countries to suit the need of a different president.


  • 15 Phou Khao Khouay National Park

    Sprawling yet little-visited Phou Khao Khouay National Park is located only 40 kilometres northeast of Vientiane, accessible via Route 13 headed to Tha Khaek. The park, which means “Buffalo Horn Mountain”, features some beautiful scenery and a vast array of biodiversity ranging from dense jungle to cool, misty pine forests, rivers and waterfalls, including noteworthy Tad Leuk and Tad Xay – both can be visited in a single daytrip.

    It is the closest National Park to Vientiane, but ironically it can feel like one of the least accessible to the average traveller. Sights within the park are sprawled out and the tourist heyday has come and gone, with many of the once highly touted activities and accommodation set up to be the next big thing now dead or crumbling. Still, the park remains an amazing swathe of nature less than two hours away from the rapidly developing capital city.

    Highlights
    – Bolikhamxay, Khet Phiset Xaisomboon (Special Zone), Vientian Prefecture, Vientiane Province

    Location
    – Vientiane


    Top Things To Do in Phou Khao Khouay National Park

  • 16 Wat Si Muang

    Wat Si Muang
    Image Credit : Wat Si Muang
    Wat Si Muang is one of Vientiane’s most popular sites of worship, and offers a fascinating insight into how old animist beliefs have blended seamlessly with Theravada Buddhism. According to local legend, when the temple was being built in 1563 a young pregnant woman named Si Muang volunteered to sacrifice herself to appease the angry spirits.

    During the That Luang Festival every October or November, this temple is one of the focal points of the celebrations, and Si Muang is fêted as a guardian of the city. On a daily basis, Wat Si Muang attracts crowds of local Buddhists who want to benefit from its ‘good luck’ powers.



    Highlights
    – This temple is more interesting for its story than for its architecture.  

    Location
    : Wat Si Muang is located at the eastern end of Thanon Setthathirath, in the triangular area formed just before the street merges with Thanon Samsenthai and turns into Thanon Thadeua.

    Opening Hours
    : The temple is open from 06:00 to 19:00 every day


  • 17 Ho Pra Keo

    Ho Pra Keo
    Image Credit : Ho Pra Keo
    This is also written in many different ways like Haw Phra Kaew or Hoe Pha Keo and others. This was formally a temple in the Vientiane in Laos. It is located on the Setthathirath road which is further situated in the south east of the Wat Si Saket. This was first built in the year 1565 to create a house for the Buddha. This has however been built up many a times. The inner part has been converted into a museum which is famous for all the religious and other activities.



    As the king moved the capital to Vientiane, this place was built. This was placed on the soil of the royalty. This was a place for a personal worship of the king and was not the house for any monks as we can see in other places. The great statue of Buddha is present there for the past 200 years. It was in the year 1779 that it was captured and the temple was destroyed.


  • 18 Vientiane City Pillar Shrine

    Vientiane City Pillar Shrine
    Image Credit : Vientiane City Pillar Shrine
    This new shrine was finished in the year of 2012, and the contractor handed it over to the Information Ministry of tourism and culture. This particular shrine is situated in the Phaiwat village in the Sisattanak district. The spot where it has been made into consisted of 473 fragments remains of the city stone pillar which was marked long back to the 5th or 4th century and was buried along with other remains.

     

    The main reason behind the construction was to preserve the old heritage and the other artifacts remains which were believed by the foreign travelers to be belonging to the city of Vientiane. There are many activities done there which includes certain religious ceremony and some traditional celebrations. The valued items are said to be placed on the pillar, and many worshipers tend to donate special items. They in return get all the good luck blessings in the form of items such as holy books, Buddha statues, etc.


  • 19 Vientiane - Pha That Luang

    Vientiane - Pha That Luang
    Image Credit : Vientiane - Pha That Luang
    The air-conditioned shopping mall (the only one in Laos) is the best place to find electronics, sports equipment and jewellery, while the cavernous original Morning Market is fairly overflowing with mass-produced silks, cheap T-shirts, trinkets and other souvenir type items. Talat Sao is the market to visit if you are looking for something in particular – although bear in mind that the catwalks of Paris and Milan are a long way from Vientiane.

    Despite looking like a shopping mall in a provincial town rather than the flagship shopping destination of a capital city, Talat Sao mall is still a breath of fresh, air-conditioned air to many tourists battling with the tropical heat outside. There are a range of shops and services for tourists to enjoy over five floors, including a Big C supermarket, a three-screen cinema, a children’s play area with plenty of arcade games and flashing lights, and a food court on the fourth floor.

     

    Location
    : Vientiane , Laos

    Opening hours
    : 8am-noon & 1-4pm Tue-Sun


  • 20 Lao Textile Museum

    Lao Textile Museum
    Image Credit : Lao Textile Museum
    Underneath the raised house there are old looms and antique spinners that you would not find in use anywhere today. Upstairs, textiles are hung on the walls or are simply stacked in cupboards. The collection has some stunning pieces, with several made by different ethnic minority groups. Unfortunately, the textiles don’t have proper storage or display conditions and many of them are deteriorating.

    There is also a studio where they produce silk pieces for their shop and a glossy cultural education centre with professional displays on natural dyes and indigo pots (clearly there has been NGO funding and involvement). The educational centre is largely used as a showroom for large tour groups and it isn’t an active, working, living craft centre you can just drop in on.



    Highlights
    – The museum also offers Lao cooking classes, although these didn't yet appear to be up and running during our visit, and on Saturdays, lessons on traditional Lao mus

    Location
    – Vientiane , Laos

    Prices
    : Admission 30,000K

    Opening Hours
    : 10am to 4pm


  • 21 Wat Ho Phra Kaew

    Wat Ho Phra Kaew
    Image Credit : Wat Ho Phra Kaew
    Vientiane boasts several beautiful temples or wats, but one of the most impressive and interesting of them is Wat Ho Phra Keo. It was originally constructed in 1565 as the Lao royal family’s personal chapel, and as a home for the Emerald Buddha after it was snatched from northern Siam (Thailand). This sacred jade statue was reclaimed by the Siamese in 1778 and now sits in Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok.



     Highlights
    – The interior of the temple is now a museum that houses many Lao treasures such as a gilded throne, Khmer Buddhist stone tablets, wooden carvings, bronze frog drums and palm-leaf manuscripts.

    Opening Hours
    : The temple is open from 08:00 to 12:00 and 13:00 to 16:00 every day.

    Location
    : Wat Ho Phra Keo is situated on the corner of Thanon Setthathilath and Thanon Mahosot. It is next to the Presidential Palace and across the road from Wat Si Saket. Mahosot Hospital is on the opposite side of Thanon Mahosot.


  • 22 Vang Vieng

    Vang Vieng
    Image Credit : Vang Vieng
    Vang Vieng (additionally Vang Viang) is a riverside town in Central Laos. The town hosts been known as a get-together destination for quite a long time, and whilst regardless this remaining parts more open air situated exercises are currently accessible, for example, mountain biking, trekking, kayaking, giving in, swimming and shake climbing. Vang Vieng is on Highway #13 in the middle of Vientiane and Luang Prabang - by transport (street and transport conditions allowing) around 6-8 hrs from Luang Prabang, around 3-4 hr from Vientiane. Thruway #13 is a two-path street in genuinely great condition with the exception of a couple knocks nearer to the urban communities, nothing to stress over. The street between Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang is rocky and brags astounding view and also beneficial looks of Lao town life.



    Highlights – Tubing, Lao-style steam sauna, Kayaking the river, High swings

    Location - Central Laos

    Best time to visit: All around the year



  • 23 Patuxai Victory Monument

    Patuxai Victory Monument
    Image Credit : Patuxai Victory Monument
    With its crenellated upper level topped with five ornate towers in the traditional Laos style, the Patuxai Victory Monument cuts a distinctive figure on the Vientiane skyline. It forms the centre piece of Patuxai Park, and is dedicated to the Laos who were killed in the fight to gain independence from France, as well as from the nation’s earlier occupiers, Siam and Japan.

     

    Highlights
    : Patuxai was built between 1957 and 1968 using funds from the U.S. government.

    Opening Hours
    : From 08:00 to 16:30 on Mondays to Fridays, and 08:00 to 17:00 on Saturdays and Sundays.

    Location
    : Patuxai is situated at the far end of Thanon Lane Xang in the government and diplomatic district. The monument sits on the large ‘island’ formed where the avenue splits into two, opposite the Ministry of Justice to the south and the Prime Minister’s office to the north.


    Top Things To Do in Patuxai Victory Monument

  • 24 Black Stupa (That Dam)

    Black Stupa (That Dam)
    Image Credit : Black Stupa (That Dam)
    That Dam, or black stupa, is located on a quiet roundabout not far from Talat Sao (the morning market) and the American Embassy. That in Laotian refers to an inverted bell shape (or unopened lotus flower) structure that usually contains relics of the Buddha. Legend has it that a seven-headed water serpent – a ‘Naga’ lived here to protect the stupa that was once covered in pure gold.

    During the Siamese-Laotian war in the 1820s, the gold was pillaged and taken to Siam, now Thailand, leaving the legacy that is the black stupa today. Known as the ‘Black Stupa', many locals believe this mythological structure was once inhabited by a seven-headed dragon (now dormant) that stood to protect the city from the threat of the Siamese.



    Highlights
    : Known as the ‘Black Stupa', many locals believe this mythological structure was once inhabited by a seven-headed dragon (now dormant) that stood to protect the city from the threat of the Siamese.

    Location
    : Chantha Khoumane Road, Vientiane


  • Nearby Getaways from Vientiane
  • 01 Luang Prabang

    1492006816_Luang-Prabang-Kuang-Si-waterfall.jpg
    Image Credit : 

    Luang Prabang or Louangphabang is a small but full-of-life city located in the Northern Central region of Laos, Thailand. This place consists of 58 adjacent villages, out of which 33 comprise the UNESCO town of Laung Prabang World Heritage Site. Luang Prabang is so beautiful that back in 1995, it was listed among the top tourist destinations for the uniqueness and remarkably well preserved architectural and cultural beauty that the place held.


    Luang Prabang is what they a perfect blend of rural simplicity as well as the urban development. Over several centuries, the French colonial influences have come and ruled over this place. Thus, you will even find many structures that reflect the French culture at Luang Prabang.


    The heart of the city consists of four main roads – each well planned and connected for the locals. Located on a peninsula, Luang Prabang comprises of several rivers, chief of them all is the Nam Khan and the Mekong River. The town is well known for the religious confluence as well. There are numerous Buddhist temples and monasteries that one will discover at this place. In fact, the religious sentiments are so high at this location that hundreds of monks every day from various walks of life walk through the streets collecting alms.


    Another important landmark of the city is the Mount Phousi. Yes, there are large steep hills sprawled on the scales of the city as well. These lead to the Wat Chom Si Shrine and an overlook of the city and rivers from this location is absolutely mesmerizing.


    Luang Prabang once served as the royal capital and the seat of the government of Kingdom of Laos. However after the 1975, the communist took over. The city is a part of the Luang Prabang District of Luang Prabang Province and there is much tourism thriving in this place. There are numerous resorts, restaurants and hotels that people can visit and have a good time in.


  • 02 Lamphun