Three days in this bustling capital city give travelers a chance to experience the culture, traditions and the people of this still somewhat undiscovered destination. Whether its exploring the Wats, combing through night markets or tucking into local cuisine, there’s plenty to do, see and experience here.
Day 1: Tour the Wats
Vientiane is home to dozens of temples and Wats of historical, religious and national significance. Spend the day exploring several of these Laotian treasures, either on foot or aboard a local tuk-tuk. Start the day at Wat Si Saket, a Siamese-styled structure that sits in a city where traditional design is much more popular. The temple’s cloister walls hold thousands of carved Buddha statues, making it a favorite destination among travelers. Next head to Wat Si Muang, where a massive pillar is said to house the body of a woman who once jumped to her death.
Day 2: Buddha Park and Local Markets
Hire a tuk-tuk or travel via local bus to Buddha Park, a meadow located about an hour outside Vientiane that’s home to dozens of massive concrete sculptures. Though not of any real religious significance, the park is a picturesque place for a picnic lunch or recreational photo shoot. Afterwards, head back to the city center and spend the rest of the day combing through the Morning Market, where traditional crafts and souvenirs line the stalls that make up this must-see stop.
Day 3: History and Culture
Start the day at the COPE Visitor Centre to learn about how the local community is supporting victims of landmine explosions. Wander the museum, filled with contemporary artwork made by survivors, and head to the gift shop to support this worthy cause. Then trek to the famous Victory Monument—a homage to Laos' much-stories past—and climb to the top for incredible views of the city skyline, Mekong River and nearby Thailand.