The capital city gets has a bad reputation among traveler’s for having nothing to do. And while it is true, it still is a nice city to visit. And Vientiane has an airport, so it’s convenient for onward travel.
The Mekong River
The Mekong River is a great place to hang out; there is a large night market with local goods and food. And take a walk just a bit further down the river at sunset and enjoy one of the many beer gardens. Thailand is just on the other side.
Just 25 km southeast of the city is Buddha Park, featuring stone sculptures of Buddha and various bizarre images. It’s a neat day trip that I’d recommend.
*If you go by motorbike, be careful. There are a few traffic stops where police may arbitrarily fine you whether or not you’ve done something wrong. It happened to me. See if you can negotiate the fine down, but otherwise just pay.
Arc of Triumph/Victory Gate
The Arc of Triumph, honoring fallen Laotian soldiers during WWII and celebrating independence from France, was built by funds from the United States (intended to finance a new airport). There’s a beautiful fountain that sits in front of it, but inside, it’s a bit run down, full of tourist souvenir stands, and offers an okay view of a relatively flat city. Still, it’s Vientiane from above.
And as every other city, there are night markets, cafes, and bars everywhere. Maybe you don’t need to stay for too long (maybe just a day or two), but it’s not the worst city in the world.
Let me know if you found anything fun to do in Vientiane!