ASEAN TRAVEL: TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN VIENTIANE

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If you plan to travel to some place near Thailand, take Laos into your consideration. Tiewlasud recommends having a fun time across Mekong River. This time we will take you to Vientiane, the capital city of Laos. Having the river as the only border, getting to this neighboring country is only a piece of cake. Travelers will find it easy to adjust since both Laos and Thailand have a lot in common in term of culture and so on. Although Laos is not the country of luxury like other big cities in modern days, it is like a magnet to travelers since it has magnificence, peace, and serenity to offer. Traveling in Laos is safe and fun. For those who plan their trips for the first time, Laos is one of the best options. 

 

1. Lao Style Morning Market 

If you are an early bird, you should not miss going to the morning market (Talad Sao) to blend in with the locals.  Only a few steps from Kua Din station, "Talad Kua Din” (Kua Din market) is located there. It gathers various kinds of food like fresh meat or veggies and regional specialties offered at very affordable prices.  Taste the local breakfast, Khao Jee Patae (Laotian sandwich) or have some hot "Khao Beak" (Laotian noodle soup) to boost your day. 

 

Food Breakfast Khao Jee Patae Vientiane Laos

Khao Jee Patae

 

Food Breakfast Khao Beak Vientiane Laos

Khao Beak

 


2. Cycling Around the City 

Attractions in Vientiane are not far away from one another. All you will need is a portable map and a bicycle to get around the city. You can stop by the landmarks, Patuxai (Victory Gate) or Chao Anouvong monument. You can also go cycling along Mekhong riverside as you'd like. It is indeed a fun workout too. Just be noted that they drive on the right side in Laos. 

Bicycle  Vientiane Laos

 

Sightseeing  The Chao Anouvong Park Vientiane Laos

The Chao Anouvong Park

 


3. Pay Respect to the Buddha and Appreciate Authentic Art of Lan-Chang  

If you don't get to pay respect to the Buddha, then you have not really made it to Vientiane. This capital city is home to significant temples of Laos such as Phra That Luang, Xieng Khuan, Wat Si Saket, and a lot more; each of them is uniquely gorgeous and precious. They are regarded as valuable artistic legacies passed down from generation to generation. If you don't know where to begin, Tiewlasud suggests that you try taking  "Jumbo" taxi service or renting a car or hire a driver because these options are good and convenient.  

SightseeingWat Si Saket Vientiane Laos

Wat Si Saket

 

Sightseeing Phra That Laung  Vientiane Laos

Phra That Luang


4. Learn about Laos at the Museum 

Visiting museums is not only fun, but it is also a great way to gain new knowledge and learn about things. This capital city of Laos is considered one of the best destinations for museum lovers. Apart from ancient temples and religious places, Vientiane also has fascinating museums which perfectly tell stories and facts about the country such as Lao National Museum and Lao People's Army History Museum etc. Be noted that most museums are government offices, so you had better make sure whether you can take photographs or not.  

Museum  Vientiane Laos

People’s Security Museum


5. Chilling at the Cafes 

Cafes are pretty abundant here in Vientiane. If you would like to find a shade and place to sit-in, visiting a cafe would be a great idea. With the combination of Asian and European styles, the cafes are well-presented cultural proofs for those who have studied some Laos history. They offer quality coffee and tea that go well with bakeries such as cakes, bagels, scones, or macrons. For travelers, cafe hopping is also a good way to take a break before getting ready for some more adventures in town.  

Cafe Vientiane Laos

Cafe  Vientiane Laos

 

6. Sailing along Nam Ngum Dam, the Laotian Maldives  


Escaping from the chaotic capital city, it only takes 30 minutes to “Tha Ngone” where you can sail to appreciate the beauty and grace of nature. From there, you'll be heading to Nam Ngum Dam, a massive storage dam surrounded by mountains, islands, and islets.  It is always better to do some research in advance so that you can fully enjoy the time and witness the panoramic scenery of Laotian Maldives with your own eyes. 

Boat Trip Vientiane Laos

 


7. Phu Khao Khouay National Park Adventures 


For adventurers, trekking and hiking here are a perfect choice.  It takes less than an hour from Vientiane to get to “Phu Khao Khouay” (Buffalo Mountain National Park), the land of mysterious superstition. It is located on the opposite site of Nong Khai, Thailand. This national park remains fully fertile.  If you would like to do adventurous activities, you don't need to worry about the safety standard since the services are provided by professional officers and guides. 

Adventure Mountain Vientiane Laos


8. Super Street Food of the Night Market 


Nothing beats strolling along the Mekong river. It is not only the view that's stunning though. On both sides of Quai Fa Ngum street, there are plenty of vendor shops and caterings selling several sorts of food and stuff offered at very cheap rates. For foodies, Tiewlasud suggest that you head to Vangtong Night Market. We confirm that there are various kinds of food and local specialties to taste from sweet to savory. 

Night Market  Vientiane Laos

Vientiane Night Market

 

Food Noodle Shopping Souvenirs Vientiane Laos

Khao Soi Haeng Vangtong Night Market

 

9. Dining out at Riverside Restaurants  


Even when the sun has gone, the fun trip is not going to stop. Not far away from the walking street, many Lao hot pot restaurants and vendors are located along the riverside. The quality goes far beyond its price. You will be dining and watching the sunset while appreciating such romantic riverside atmospheres as well as the colorful nightlife of Vientiane. Apart from the famous Beer Lao, the secret-recipe Laogria is also the drink that you should not miss. Sipping drinks, listening to good music, and enjoying the moment are surely great at this point.         

 

Riverside Restaurant Vientiane Laos
Photo credit: DerFussi via Visualhunt / CC BY-SA

 

Drink Laogria  Vientiane Laos

Laogria


10. Shopping for Souvenirs  


It is not difficult to find lovely souvenirs here. If you don't want to walk around and exhaust yourself, then go to “Talad Sao Shopping Mall”, an air-conditioned mall that gathers all sorts of silverware, silk, and souvenirs. They also have goods imported from China at San Jiang Shopping Mall so you can shop like a Chinese without having to fly to Shenzhen city. Since it is a Chinese-style mall, feel free to make a bargain anytime.  

Shopping Souvenirs Vientiane Laos

Shopping Souvenirs Vientiane Laos

 

If you are looking for a holiday trip not too far away from Thailand, Vientiane is one of the best destinations that you should not overlook. Escape from the urban chaos to a fast growing city. Touch and feel the authentic culture of Laos and get to know the people. Encounter new experiences. You know, a meaningful life begins when you go traveling. 

 

 

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