The 10 Best Things To Do In Vientiane

Imagine stepping into a city where the Mekong River whispers stories of ancient times, and the streets are lined with a blend of French colonial architecture and Buddhist temples. That’s Vientiane for you, a place where the past and present coexist in a serene harmony. As someone who’s wandered through its charming avenues and soaked in its laid-back vibe, I’m thrilled to share the top experiences that make this Laotian capital a hidden gem in Southeast Asia.

First up, you can’t miss the iconic Pha That Luang. This golden stupa is the national symbol of Laos and a sight to behold. It’s said that a piece of Buddha’s breastbone is enshrined here, making it a revered pilgrimage site. The stupa’s gleaming facade against the blue sky is a photographer’s dream, especially during sunrise or sunset.

Next, take a leisurely stroll down to the Patuxai Victory Monument. It’s Vientiane’s own Arc de Triomphe, with a Laotian twist. Climb to the top for a panoramic view of the city. The intricate designs and the history behind this war monument are fascinating. Plus, the park surrounding it is perfect for a picnic or people-watching.

For a dose of culture, the Wat Si Saket should be on your list. It’s the oldest temple in Vientiane and home to thousands of Buddha statues. The temple’s architecture and the quiet atmosphere provide a tranquil escape from the city buzz. Don’t forget to admire the detailed wall murals depicting Buddhist teachings.

If you’re a fan of markets, the Vientiane Night Market is a must-visit. Set along the Mekong Riverfront, it’s a vibrant mix of food stalls, clothing, and souvenirs. The atmosphere is electric, with locals and tourists mingling and bargaining. Try some local delicacies or pick up a handmade craft as a memento.

For a slice of history, the COPE Visitor Centre is an eye-opener. It provides insight into the impact of the Vietnam War on Laos, particularly unexploded ordnance (UXO). The center’s work in providing prosthetics and rehabilitation for UXO victims is both humbling and inspiring.

Nature lovers, rejoice! The Buddha Park, also known as Xieng Khuan, is an open-air sculpture park filled with over 200 Hindu and Buddhist statues. The giant reclining Buddha is a standout. The park’s quirky and somewhat eerie sculptures make for an intriguing visit.

Art enthusiasts should head to the Lao National Museum. Housed in a French colonial building, it showcases the country’s history from prehistoric times to the present. The mix of artifacts, photographs, and texts tell a compelling story of Laos’s journey.

For a taste of local life, the Mekong Riverside Park is where it’s at. It’s a hub of activity, especially in the evenings. Join in on a group exercise class, watch the sunset over the river, or simply enjoy a leisurely walk.

No visit to Vientiane is complete without indulging in a traditional Lao massage. After a day of exploring, there’s nothing like a soothing massage to rejuvenate your senses. Many local spas offer authentic treatments using local herbs and techniques.

Lastly, for an unforgettable experience, take a day trip to the Nam Ngum Reservoir. It’s a bit of a drive, but the stunning scenery and opportunity for boat trips and water sports are well worth it. The tranquil waters and surrounding greenery are a nature lover’s paradise.


Q: What’s the best time of year to visit Vientiane?
A: The best time to visit is during the dry season, from November to February, when the weather is cooler and more comfortable for exploring.

Q: Are there any entry fees for the attractions in Vientiane?
A: Yes, some attractions like Pha That Luang and Buddha Park have small entry fees, usually under a couple of dollars.

Q: Is Vientiane suitable for family travel?
A: Absolutely! Vientiane is family-friendly, with many attractions that cater to all ages and plenty of open spaces for children to enjoy.

In conclusion, Vientiane is a treasure trove of cultural sights, historical landmarks, and delightful experiences. From the spiritual aura of Pha That Luang to the bustling night market by the Mekong, there’s something for every traveler. Whether you’re soaking in the local history, indulging in Lao cuisine, or simply enjoying the laid-back atmosphere, Vientiane offers a unique blend of tranquility and adventure. So pack your bags, and get ready to create memories in this enchanting Laotian capital.

Kurby Team

The Kurby Content Team is a diverse group of seasoned real estate experts dedicated to providing insightful, reliable information for homebuyers, real estate investors, and real estate agents. With backgrounds ranging from real estate brokerage, property investment, and residential home buying, our team combines decades of experience with a passion for demystifying the real estate world. We at Kurby are committed to helping you make informed, successful real estate decisions. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, a seasoned investor, or a real estate professional, count on the Kurby Content Team to deliver the most relevant, actionable real estate content you need.