Vientiane is the largest and the Capital city of Laos. With a population of over 800,000, it has become the economic centre and most visited city in the country. The friendly city is littered with magnificent French mansions, blooming streets and countless noodle stalls. Many visitors quickly fall in love with the city and find it hard to leave as the more you explore the city, the more charm you find.
It is full of things to see, from the famous Buddha Park to the morning market and many interesting discoveries in between. The region experiences a tropical climate, with a distinct monsoon season and a dry season. April marks the start of the areas monsoon season which lasts about 7 months – although Vientiane tends to be hot and humid throughout the year.
Along the western side of the river is a collection of Buddhas that were damaged during the 1828 Siamese War. Some of the Buddhas are believed to be from as early as the 13th century, and were brought here from a nearby Khmer site. There are over 200 religious statues here, one of which is a huge 40m high reclining Buddha. There is a café and small bar in the park – which provides a great rest-stop at lunchtime to get out of the sun and relax by the Mekong River.
Pha That Luang
This monument is considered the most important national monument in the country. It is a symbol of both sovereignty and of the Buddhist religion, and an image of the main statue appears on the national seal and various other places.
The Presidential Palace
The building of the elegant Presidential Palace on Lane Xang Street was first started in 1973 by the then Royal Lao government on the grounds that used to house the royal residence. Due to political change brought about by the takeover of the communist Pathet Lao in 1975, the building was not completed until much later. The Presidential Palace finally opened its doors in 1986 and even then only as a venue for government functions and ceremonies – but it provides great photo opportunities with its imposing yet elegant beau arts-style architecture complete with tall colonnades and shaded balconies.
The best time to visit Vientiane is during the cooler months of November to March since he air is neither too muggy nor too dry during this time. The rainy season has come to pass by November and the rivers are usually more easily navigable during this time of the year. However, this is also known as an all- year-round destination with ideal warm temperatures prevailing throughout the year making it a perfect place for all kinds of outdoor activities
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