In the old part of Vientiane city, an attractive and interesting settlement is situated along the Mekong River where the ancient temples, museums, monuments and parks are all located just a short distance apart.

The cosmopolitan capital of Laos, Vientiane, has galleries, boutiques, theatres, nightclubs and internet cafe, making it a major attraction for visitors from all around the globe. Although the city is small, it offers visitors a great variety of restaurants serving both Lao and foreign cuisine. When you get hungry try the nation’s signature dish, tam mak-hung (spicy green papaya salad),  laap (spicy minced meat salad) and ping kai (fried chicken). Quench your thirst with a refreshing Beer Lao or fresh fruit shake from one of the many small restaurants found along almost every street in town. At dusk, find a spot along the Mekong promenade to enjoy an amazing view of the sunset over the river.

1. THAT LUANG STUPA (Great Sacred Stupa)
The site of That Luang has been builtin use since the year 236 of the Buddhist Calendar (307BC). When the first governor of Vientiane, Phaya Chanthabouri Pasitthisack or Bourichan built a structure that looked like a kiln of about 9 meters high and 10 meters wide. The original stupa was built on the site in 1566 by King Saysetthathirath, and was restored in 1953. The golden stupa is 45 meters tall and is believed to contain a relic of the Lord Buddha. The gold centerpiece of this stupa echoes the curve of an elongated Lotus bud. Today it is the most important national cultural monument
2. PATOUXAY (Victory Monument)
The memorial monument, Patuxay, was built in 1957 and is perhaps the most prominent landmark in the city. It is situated on Lanexang Avenue. While the arc de Triomphe in Paris inspired the architecture, the design incorporates typical Lao motifs including “Kinnaly”, a mythical bird woman. Energetic visitors can climb to the top of the monument, which reveals an excellent panoramic view of the city
Originally, this ancient temple was built in 1565 by King Xayasetthathilath to house the Emerald Buddha 1565-1779 (lost to the Siamese in 1828) as his personal place of worship. It was reconstructed in 1936. For this reason and unlike other temples in Laos, monks have not taken up residence here. During the 1970’s, the temple was converted from a place of worship into museum and now houses the finest national collection of Buddhist sculptures and artifacts. From the terrace of HorPhra Keo, one can enjoy a view overlooking the president’s Palace (former Royal Palace) and garden.
Sisaket is the only ancient templeremaining intact after the destruction of the Siamese in 1828. It’s located in the center of the old city,where it was built in 1818 by King Anouvong. The old monastery stands intact in its original form and certainly is one of the most interesting in the country. Inside the main hall, the courtyard walls house hundreds of little inches and shelves containing a total of 6,840 Buddha images.
Buddha Park is a famous sculpture park with more than 200 religious statues including a huge 40-metre high reclining Buddha image. The best spot for photography here is on top of the giant pumpkin structure standing about three stories high. The entrance is crafted to look like a demon’s mouth (about three metres high) with a stone ladder inside leading to a bird’s eye view of the entire Xieng Kuan Park. It was built in 1958 by Luang Pu Bunleua Sulilat, a monk who studied both Buddhism and Hinduism. This explains why his park is full not only of Buddha images but also of Hindu gods as well as demons and animals from both beliefs. The most outstanding ones include Indra, the king of Hindu gods riding the three-headed elephant (aka Erawan and Airavata), a four-armed deity sitting on a horse and an artistic deity with 12 faces and many hands, each holding interesting objects. They are all equally impressive not only because of their enormous size but because they are full of interesting details and interesting motifs. There is a local eatery and café offering food and drinks to tourists at one end of the park right next to the Mekong River that makes a great spot to chill after all the walking and climbing. Among the popular snacks are papaya salad, fried bananas and cold Lao beer. It also has a souvenir shop and restrooms. There is a small fee for entering the park as well as for photography.
Simuang Temple is one of Vientiane’s most popular sites of worship, and offers a fascinating insight into how old animist beliefs have blended seamlessly with Theravada Buddhism. The original city pillar of Vientiane is found in Wat Simuang located in Ban Simuang village along Setthathirath Road. It was built in 1956 and is believed to be guarded by the spirit of a local girl called “ Si ” Local legend has it that Nang Si, who was pregnant at the time, leapt to her death as a sacrifice, just as the pillar was being lowered into the hole. A very colorful Phasat Pheung (wax pavilion procession) attracts large crowds to Simuang Temple, taking place just two days prior to the That Luang Festival in November. On a daily basis, Wat Si Muang attracts crowds of local Buddhists who want to benefit from its ‘good luck’ powers. It is commonly thought that if you pray for something here and simultaneously make a promise, your wish will be granted, providing you return and fulfill your promise.
Vientiane Night Market is aimed primarily towards tourists, with clean, orderly stalls, and all manner of merchandise that make great souvenirs or mementos. It all begins around sunset when a small army of sellers begin setting up their red-roofed stalls directly on the riverside promenade. You can’t fail to see it. The whole riverside area is alive at this time with joggers and dog-walkers taking advantage of the cooling breezes and stunning backdrop of the sun lazily sinking into the Mekong river. Products on offer are fairly typical of night markets throughout the region. You will find a predictable array of Buddhist-inspired paintings and knickknacks, cheap sunglasses, and Beer Lao T-shirts. The clothes stalls tend to be geared towards the backpacker market with fishermen pants and one-size-fits-all dresses and skirts. With only $US10 in your pocket you can pick up at least a couple of products here, but, for bargain hunters, it’s worth mentioning that everything on offer here can be found at a slightly cheaper price at other markets. The traders seem to have whittled down all the best-sellers from the Morning Market and set them up in more attractive, and convenient, surroundings.
Nam Pien Yor La Pa is a tributary of Nam Kat Yor La Pa, located in Xieng Lae Tha Village, Pak Ngum District, Vientiane Capital. The new site covers an area of ​​about 140 hectares of Nam Pien National Park, with varieties of adventure activities, including riding an ATV, riding the Luge, roller coaster rides, relaxing on spider net, walking on the sky bridge and stand at the waterfall, canopy walk, water park area, tree top, shooting BB gun, trekking to the mountain, sleeping at the camp base with BBQ. You can enjoy the beautiful scenery of nature, especially the beautiful waterfall. How to get there? If you are leaving Vientiane Capital, there are two routes to Chiang Lae Village, Pak Ngum District – via route 13 and route 10. Both routes have similar distances, but we recommend you take Route 13 as it is a 1 hour, 30 minutes.
Morning market is known as Talat Sao. It is the famous shopping area in Vientiane Capital where sells a variety of different items including Lao traditional handicrafts, fabrics, jewelry, clothing, souvenir items. To be more specific, if you’re looking to buy traditional Lao skirt, there are endless choices of fabrics to choose. Wooden boxes and carvings are scattered in various shops, and if you are looking for elephant motifs, you’ve come to the right place. It’s also a good place to enjoy a slice of local Vientiane life. How to get there? Morning Market is located in downtown Vientiane, about 700 meters south of Patuxai (Victory Monument). It’s easy to visit on foot or by bicycle from other downtown attractions. Opening hours from 08:00 am to 05:00 pm.