Nestled peacefully in a languid bend in the Mekong, Vientiane exudes the air of an easy-going town rather than a chaotic capital city. Walking past old colonial mansions that line the broad, airy boulevards you could be forgiven for thinking you were in Europe, whilst the slow-pace and friendly atmosphere are quintessentially Laos.

What to see

Wat Sisaket

Wat Sisaket

Vientiane’s oldest temple, having survived several sackings of the city, Wat Sisaket was built in 1818. Within the walls the cloisters provide atmospheric explorations, with niches full of small Buddhas with lines of their larger counterparts lining the walls, all under an elaborate five tiered roof.

Pha That Luang

Pha That Luang

The national symbol of Laos and the country’s most important religious building, the current That Luang sits on the site of a much earlier building. This gold covered stupa is located just outside of Vientiane’s centre is surrounded by cloisters that feature fascinating old images of Buddha. Ask your guide to time your visit to enjoy the beauty of the stupa at sunset.

Buddha Park

Buddha Park

Located about 40 minutes by road south of Vientiane, the Buddha Park sits in a picturesque location on the Mekong. Here you’ll find sculptures depicting both Hindu and Buddhist deities scattered throughout the lush riverside meadows. This fascinating and rather eccentric place was founded in the 1950s by a holy man who merged Hindu and Buddhist philosophies.

Where to stay

Green Park Boutique Hotel

The Green Park in Vientiane blends the contemporary architecture of Laos with elegant interiors to create a stylish and relaxing hotel. Rooms are spacious and classically furnished with a private balcony or terrace. Hotel facilities include the Champa Lao Spa, a fitness room and a swimming pool.

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