Sign Up
Newsletter Signup
Free Fodor's Newsletter

Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.

Passport: Your weekly travel wrap-up
Today's Departure: Your daily dose of travel inspiration

Laos Travel Guide

  • Photo: danhvc / Shutterstock


Vientiane is the quietest Southeast Asian capital, with a pace as slow as the Mekong River, which flows along the edge of town. It doesn't have the kind of imposing sights you find in Bangkok, but neither does it have the air pollution and traffic jams. That's not to say that Vientiane isn't changing at all—though there are still many more bicycles and scooters than cars on its streets, several

of the main thoroughfares are beginning to bustle.

The abundance of ugly cement-block buildings in urgent need of paint gives the town a superficially run-down appearance, but scattered among these eyesores are some remnants of elegant French colonial architecture. There are also dozens of temples—ornate, historic Buddhist structures that stand amid towering palms and flowering trees. First-time visitors often find Vientiane a drab, joyless city, but you only have to arrive in the midst of the weeklong That Luang Festival in November to be reminded that first impressions can be misleading.

Read More



Trip Finder

Fodor's South Africa

View Details

Love To Travel?

Get FREE e-mail communications from Fodor's Travel, covering must-see travel destinations, expert trip planning advice, and travel inspiration to fuel your passion.

How we use your email

Thank You

Now sit back, relax, and check your inbox to start planning your next travel adventure.

Please tell us more about the type of travel you're interested in. Check all that apply.