Vientiane Overview

Laos's capital as well as its largest city, with a population of about 750,000 people, Vientiane is situated on the Mekong River in north-central Laos, near the country's border with Thailand. Vientiane has long been popular with adventure travelers for the access it provides to both northern hill-tribe areas like Luang Namtha and southern destinations like Pakse and the "4,000 Islands" stretch of the Mekong. Today, it is also increasingly being seen as a destination in its own right: a relaxed, verdant city that is home to beautifully preserved temples, a wealth of markets and shops, and luxury accommodation as well. Browse Vientiane's Talat Sao Market for bargain trinkets and memorable souvenirs; explore the That Luang Stupa, a veritable national treasure of Laos; or stroll along Vientiane's waterfront, dotted with French-era structures.