Vientiane is not comparable to Bangkok or other Asian capitals. You’ll surely notice that when you first arrive here. However, that doesn’t mean that there is nothing to do here. Vientiane has a lot to offer. There are some activities that you definitely shouldn’t miss. Especially in cultural terms, there is a lot to discover. But that’s by far not all. Just look around our site and you’ll understand what we’re talking about.
As we have already mentioned, Vientiane is especially interesting from a cultural point of view. Two obligatory attractions are the Buddha Park and Patuxai. But that’s not all. Laos has a very interesting culture and especially if you are interested in Buddhism, you should spend some time in Vientiane. There are many different temples and monuments. Some of them are really impressive. You can learn a lot about the culture and history of Laos. Furthermore, you will learn more about Siam. In times past, Siam was a huge empire that encompassed today’s Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. Even parts of Vietnam, Myanmar and Malaysia were part of it. That’s why the language of Laos is very similar to Thai.
As it is for an Asian city, there are of course some markets in Vientiane. The most interesting of them is the Vientiane Night Market. The market is located near the Mekong River and only opens in the evening. It can not be denied that the market is quite impressive. It is in no way inferior to other major night markets. We would even go so far as to say that it is one of the best night markets we’ve ever seen. There are many stalls selling food, clothing and small electronic devices. But that’s by far not all. Near the river are some bars and restaurants and occasionally even something like a small fair. There you can try your luck and maybe win one or the other prize. But you shouldn’t rely on that. We did only win a few drinks. Well, maybe you have more luck (or skill).
If you’ve ever been to a shopping mall in Asia, you know how impressive they can be. However, the shopping malls in Vientiane are not comparable to those of other major Asian cities. Even the largest shopping mall the Vientiane Center Lao can hardly keep up with the average shopping mall in Thailand. In principle, it doesn’t differ much from the classic shopping malls. There are food stalls, restaurants, various shops, an entertainment area and of course a cinema. You definitely can spend some time here. And in the future, with the economic upswing of the country, the whole thing is going to look different anyway.
The beer in Laos is really good. If you haven’t tried the famous Beerlao yet, you should definitely do it. It won some international awards for a reason. And if you generally like to drink beer, you can’t miss the Beerlao Brewery under any circumstances. Otherwise you would regret it. Just register at their website and prepare for an unforgettable tour to the home of the famous Beerlao. You can learn how the beer is made, try some samples and buy t-shirts or other merchandise. You shouldn’t have a problem finding the beer factory. We are sure that every tuk tuk driver knows it.
Cost of activities in Vientiane
For many of the activities in Vientiane you won’t have to pay anything or only a little. High entrance fees are very rare. For example the entrance fee for Patuxai is only 3.000 Kip. That’s about 34 US cents. Nevertheless, you won’t necessarily get away cheaply. The cost of trips by tuk tuk can quickly skyrocket. And finding your way around isn’t that easy. And unless you are living here for some time, finding your way around isn’t that easy. Of course you could also rent a scooter. However, you should not underestimate the traffic in Vientiane under any circumstances. We personally advise you to look for a friendly tuk tuk driver and rappel with him some places. Of course, you should agree on a fair price in the first place. But with some negotiating skills that is definitely possible.