Vientiane - the sleepy capital of Laos located on the Mekong River. Even if Vientiane is less popular than Luang Prabang between tourists, plenty of impressive attractions can still be found here.

Vientiane Attractions

Pha That Luang

Pha That Luang or Great Stupa is a large golden Buddhist stupa in the center of Vientiane. This 45 meters high stupa is believed to enshrine a breast bone of the Buddha and is the most important Buddhist monument in Laos. Pha That Luang is a 45 meters high stupa all covered in gold and surrounded by 30 small stupas.

Pha That Luang Stupa

There are few more picturesque buildings and monuments in the complex of Pha That Luang. This newly built Assembly Hall is another highlight of Pha That Luang. The building is used for meetings and Buddhist ceremonies.

Pha That Luang Assembly Hall


Patuxai is one of the most important monuments of Vientiane. The monument is known as Victory Gate because it was dedicated to those who fought in the struggle for independence from France. Patuxai is located on the Lane Xang Avenue in the center of Vientiane. The monument is similar in style to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and often called the Arc de Triomphe of Vientiane. However, Patuxai has many differences from the French Arc as its design is typically Laotian with the Hindu Gods and various mythological creatures.


Wat Si Saket

Wat Si Saket is a Buddhist temple in Vientiane which may be the oldest temple still standing in the capital of Laos. Wat Si Saket is famous for its cloister wall thousands of Buddha images made from wood, stone and bronze.

Wat Si Saket

Wat Haw Phra Kaew

Wat Haw Phra Kaew or Wat Ho Phra Keo is a temple in Vientiane. This temple was established as the Royal temple and once enshrined the Emerald Buddha, the sacred jade statue of Buddha which now is housed at Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok. Wat Haw Phra Kaew now is turned into a museum of religious art.

Wat Haw Phra Kaew

Presidential Palace

The Presidential Palace or Palais Présidentiel is a beautiful French Beaux Arts style building in Vientiane which is the official residence of the President of Laos. The palace is surrounded by picturesque gardens and located on the banks of the Mekong River in the center of the capital of Laos. The Presidential Palace building is closed to the public and can be enjoyed only from the distance.

Presidential Palace - Palais présidentiel

That Dam (Black Stupa)

That Dam or Black Stupa is an old brick stupa located in the center of Vientiane. That Dam is one of Vientiane’s historical landmarks, located near the morning market in the city center. Black Stupa got its name because of the current view as the bricks and stones have been blackened during the time and it was covered with herbs.

That Dam (Black Stupa)

Vientiane Night Market

Vientiane night market is an open-air market that takes place every night on the promenade along the Mekong River. This night market is the best place to buy your Laotian souvenirs in Vientiane.

Vientiane Night Market

Lao National Cultural Hall

Laos National Cultural Hall in Vientiane is a building that occasionally hosts dance or musical performances, film showings, political meetings and exhibitions.

Lao National Cultural Hall

Vientiane Transportation

Flights to Vientiane

There are plenty of options to choose from when flying from Bangkok to Vientiane's Wattay Airport (VTE). This is the only direct route from Thailand to the capital of Laos which is served by Lao Airlines, Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways and low cost carrier Air Asia. Flight deals for this route can be found here: Flights from Bangkok to Vientiane.

There is a cheaper option for getting to Vientiane - you can fly to Udon Thani International Airport (UTH) in Thailand with low cost airlines Air Asia or Nok Air and then take a shuttle bus from the airport to the border at Nong Khai or take a direct bus from the city of Udon Thani to Vientiane. Flight deals for this convenient domestic route in Thailand can be found here: Flights from Bangkok to Udon Thani.

Bus to Vientiane

From Thailand

Transport company known as 999 bus operates on international routes from Ekkamai Bus Terminal in Bangkok to Vientiane. There are also companies operating from Mo Chit Bus Terminal to the capital of Laos. Bus tickets can be booked here: Bus from Bangkok to Vientiane.

You can also take a bus to Thai border town Nong Khai, cross the border there and travel by a local bus to Vientiane which is located not far from the border. More details about traveling from Bangkok to Vientiane this way can be found in the following articles: 

From Vietnam

The capital of Laos can be conveniently reached from Vietnam as well. From Hanoi you can take a direct bus to Vientiane. Bus tickets for this international route can be booked here: Bus from Hanoi to Vientiane.

Train to Vientiane

It is possible to take direct train from Bangkok to Vientiane. If you're interested, train schedule and tickets can be found here: Train from Bangkok to Vientiane.

Domestic Travel

The most popular domestic routes in Laos that include Vientiane:

From Vientiane to Luang Prabang

From Vientiane to Vang Vieng

From Vientiane to Pakse

From Vientiane to 4000 Islands

More transportation options for traveling to/from Vientiane can be found with this search form.

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