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Vientiane is the capital of Laos and located near the northern border of Thailand. The city is situated on the banks of the Mekong River and belongs to the province of the same name. That can be a bit confusing, since Vang Vieng is also part of the Vientiane Province. Although Vientiane is not comparable to major Asian cities such as Bangkok, Beijing or Seoul, there is still a lot to see here. Vientiane is the economic center of the country and has about 820.000 inhabitants. So it’s a pretty big city. In fact, it’s actually the largest in Laos. And as soon as the country is economically stronger, Vientiane will certainly continue to develop. Maybe one day the city will even be a world metropolis. Either way, you shouldn’t miss Vientiane. The city has a lot to offer.

vientiane infographic

Is Vientiane an expensive city?

Whether Vientiane is expensive or cheap, is in the eye of the beholder. If you’re from a western country, you may find the city relatively cheap. But let me tell you one thing: Vientiane is more expensive than you may expect. In genereal, Laos is more expensive than its neighbouring countries. The reason for this is simple. Since Laos has so far hardly any industry, many goods have to be imported from the surrounding countries. This increases the price of services and goods. Many foods that you might know from supermarkets in Thailand are a good deal more expensive in Laos. Vientiane is no exception.  Well, we don’t want to lie. Yes, Vientiane is actually expensive. But there are also cheap things. For example, you can get filled baguettes and good beer for really little money.

Things to do in Vientiane

There is really a lot you can do in Vientiane. There are many interesting activities So you can definitely spend a few days without getting bored. In particular the cultural activities are definitely worth a visit. Some of the must-sees are the Buddha Park and the Patuxai Victory Monument. You really shouldn’t miss both.  In our opinion they’re the most worthwhile activities in the city. Especially since you don’t have to pay nearly anything besides the transport to visit them. But of course there is much more. Vientiane is a city with an exciting history. And the best way to learn more about this story is to check out the different sights.

Airports in Vientiane

There’s one airport in the capital and it’s called the Wattay International Airport. So you can fly to Vientiane at any time. The airport is not very big but for domestic flights or flights to neighboring countries it’s a good choice. There are regular daily flights from Laotian airlines to those destinations. Prices vary but are actually not too expensive. You should just book some time in advance. Otherwise you may not find a good price.

Bars and restaurants in Vientiane

There are many places to eat and drink in Vientiane. Including cheap and expensive ones. In addition to local food options, there are also many foreign ones. For example, there are a lot of Korean restaurants in Vientiane. You don’t like Korean food? Then you probably should check one of the french bakeries, cafes or restaurants. Not your thing too? Don’t worry. There’s certainly some type of food that appeals to you. And if not, just spend your time at one of the bars near the river.  There’s not only a lot to drink there (some bars have an excellent selection of beer), but also dishes that everyone actually likes.

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