This capital city of Laos has a somewhat different feel to it than my last two destinations. Vientiane has the buzz and vibes of a real city. However a charming laid-back ambience can be found in places here where French colonial charms mitigate the crowd effects.
One of the most distinctive landmarks in Vientiane is the Patuxai arch that resembles the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. It is an impressive monument and has been covered in relief work depicting Hindu Gods. At the top are five towers of traditional Laotian style to where visitors can climb to for good views of the city.
Pha That Luang or Great Sacred Stupa is a much-photographed site visited by all tourists. Located on a hill, this large golden stupa is covered with gold and the most important monument in Laos. The French built this not so ancient structure in the 1930’s but it has earned attention because of its amazing prominence.
Lao Kitchen and Khop Chai Deu are two really good restaurants for local food worth visiting while in town.