1. Take a cooking class
Street food in Laos is delicious. Therefore, try a cooking class to learn how to make traditional dishes like laap (salad with minced meat and spices), orh (spicy stew), and mok (steamed fish in banana leaf). Most tours begin with a market tour where you will select the best ingredients for your experience! I recommend a class with Madam Phasouk. Classes are 150,000 LAK ($17 USD).
2. See Buddha Park.
Buddha Park is a sculpture park just outside of Vientiane. There are around 200 Hindu and Buddhist statues here, all of which appear to be centuries old (they’re not; they were made in the 20th century out of concrete). While not “historic” it’s still worth the visit!
3. See the Great Stupa
The Great Stupa is a 148-foot gold-covered stupa and is the most important monument in the country. Built by King Setthathirat in 1566, its exterior looks like a fortress with high walls. Inside, the walls are covered in Buddhist, floral, and animal imagery. Admission is 10,000 LAK ($1.15 USD).
4. Chat with a monk
On the first Sunday of every month, monks gather at the Sangha College to chat with tourists. You can ask them all about their practice and daily life, and it gives them a chance to practice their English in turn. It’s a useful way to learn a lot about Lao culture.
5. Check out the Victory Gate (Patuxai)
Vientiane’s Victory Gate is also known as the city’s Arc de Triomphe. The monument was built between 1957-1968 to honor the memory of Lao soldiers who died in WWII and the war of independence in 1949. For 3,000 LAK ($0.35 USD), you can climb up to the 7th story and take in an amazing view of Vientiane.
Vientiane has many options for accommodation. Our suggested places to stay when you visit are:
Bus – Vientiane has a public, city bus system, but it mostly services the outer suburbs rather than the city center. The number 14 bus goes to the Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge and the Buddha Park every day from Talat Sao Bus Station and costs 6,000 LAK ($0.70 USD). Buses number 30 and 49 go back and forth to the airport regularly for 4,000 LAK ($0.45 USD) as well.
Bicycle – A bicycle rental is an excellent way to get around Vientiane. Rentals cost from 10,000-30,000 LAK ($1.15-3.45 USD) per day. If your guesthouse or hostel doesn’t rent bicycles, there are plenty of shops around town. Two shops worth checking out include: Mixay Bike, Lao Bike
Tuk-Tuks and Jumbos – Tuk-tuks are an easy and affordable way to get around town, with a 3-kilometer tuk-tuk ride costing about 30,000 LAK ($3.45 USD). Jumbos are like large shared tuk-tuks for larger groups that run regular routes around town, and they’re usually no more than 10,000 LAK ($1.15 USD) per trip.
Taxi – If you come across an unmetered taxi, make sure you negotiate before getting in. Try to aim for 5,000 LAK ($0.68 USD) per kilometer. You can hire a private taxi for a full day (within the town) for about 433,970 LAK ($50 USD) per day.
Vientiane has a tropical climate, with average daily temperatures ranging between 75-98°F (24-37°C).
Between November to March is the best time to visit Vientiane. This is when the area’s weather is consistently warm and dry, and if you’re planning on doing lots of sightseeing, you’ll want this kind of weather.
March to May tends to be the hottest months, with temperatures as high as 104°F (40°C). Humidity is high as well. The rainy season starts in May or June and lasts until the end of October. Although there’s a lot of rain, it usually comes in short bursts, leaving the rest of the day warm and sunny. Coming here during this time means you won’t have to deal with a lot of other travelers.
Vientiane is a very safe place to backpack and travel. Vientiane has very little crime. Petty theft is the main concern here. Keep your valuables locked up at your accommodations, and keep a close eye on your wallet or purse at all times. In addition, you have to follow health regulations during Covid-19. You should wear a mask and wash your hands when visiting crowded places.
https://luxtraveldmc.com/destinations/laosEssential documents and preparations for your Vientiane tour
Travel insurance – the medical system in Laos isn't very good, therefore, if you get sick or injured during your travel here, you might need to be transferred to Thailand. Therefore, make sure your travel insurance is dependable in an unfortunate situation.
Flights – flights to Luang Prabang and Vientiane can fill up pretty quickly. Airlines usually encourage online booking so that you can make an early booking. Also, this way, you can make use of the many early bird offers available as well for advance bookings.
Visa – Unless you are from ASEAN, countries like Switzerland, Japan, Luxemburg, and Russia will need a visa to enter the country. Visa on arrival is available for a few countries for 30 days and may cost $30 to $42.
Debit and credit cards – there are ATMs across the city from where you can withdraw cash. However, remember to confirm with your bank that you will be making transactions in Laos so that your card will not be blocked and deemed stolen.
Mobiles – bring a smartphone with you from home and purchase a 4 GSM local sim from the airport so that you can use that instead of collecting roaming fees. The connectivity may be very slow, so try to keep it for just basic usage like instant messaging and calls.
Power bank – if you have forgotten your charger, you could easily request one at the front office of Serviced Apartments Vientiane. Still, if your charge drops during a bus ride, you'll need a power bank for backup.
Keep it light – Laos is very hot and humid; therefore, light clothing is the best way to keep cool and comfortable. Bring shorts, loose t-shirts, and soft dresses. Also, since laundry services are readily available, not to mention, cheap, clothing for a minimum of 5 days should suffice.
Jackets – the country may be hot during the day, but it can get quite cool after dark, especially in the mountainous areas. If you are planning a trip between November and February, pack in some light jackets as well because this is the cooler season.
Footwear – it is best to stick to hiking shoes or sneakers when traveling in Laos. Some roads aren't in very good condition and footpaths might be quite rugged.
Hats and sunglasses – when it comes to protection from the sun and style, the best options are sun hats and sunglasses.
What a wonderful escape plan for you to do during your holiday! Just pack your luggage and we will take care of the rest of the journey!
Lux Travel DMC has just turned 15 years old in the travel industry sector within Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries. With the prior experience from the young staff, we believe that this will be helpful for you when planning your holiday to Southeast Asia.
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If you are interested in Vientiane tours, you may send us an email at [email protected]