Vientiane is the capital of Laos. This city is located on Mekong Valley filled with historical temples. Vientiane has a big temple covered with gold, it's Pha That Luang which is also the icon of Laos. This not-so-big city has tuk-tuk, a roofless motorized pedicab as the main transportation you can rent. There are many unique historical places you can come to in this city.
In 1560, King Setthathirath made this city as the capital of Lan Xang Kingdom. Then when this kingdom fell in 1707, Vientiane became an independence kingdom. But in 1779, this city was taken over again by General Siam Phraya Chakri who then made it a part of Siam. There was once a rebellion in 1827 led by King Anouvong, but the rebellion was then taken care of Siamese army succesfully. In 1893, Vientiane became one territory of France and in 1899 became the capital of Laos which was the protectorate country of France.
Things to see
You can see Pha That Luang, a big Buddhist temple covered with gold built in the 3rd century. Pha That Luang is also the icon of Laos. Another place you can see is Wat Si Saket Temple, the oldest temple which survived after Siamese invasion to Vientiane in 1827. There are more than 2,000 small Buddhist statues on this temple's wall. At the heart of Vientiane, you can see Patuxay (which means Gate of Victory), made in 1957 to honor those who fought for Laos independence from France.
Things to do
You can walk through Jembatan Persahabatan (Friendship Bridge) to get to Buddha Park (Xieng Khuan). The bridge was built to remember the frendship of Laos and Thailand. As you arrive in Buddha Park, you can take pictures of various Buddha in the park. Don't miss also to grab the pictures of Mekong River's horizon when sunset comes. Morning Market can be a choice for shopping especially souvenirs of Vientiane, one of them is sin, the weaving fabric typically of Laos.
Things to eat
One typical food of this city is Laap made of minced meat or fish soaked in some seasoning and added with spicy vegetables and typical seasoning of Laos. Another typical food you can find is Tam Mak Hoong or Tam Som, young papaya salad. You can also try Nam Khao, fried rice salad covered with leaves. The last but not least is Khao Tom, boiled rice covered within banana leaves.
Getting to VIENTIANE
Flying to VIENTIANE: VIENTIANE is served by Wattay International Airport. Wattay International Airport is located about 4 km west from VIENTIANE. A taxi into the city from Wattay International Airport would cost USD 7.00. Read more about Wattay International Airport or look for flights to VIENTIANE