Vientiane is the capital of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, however with a population of approximately 500,000 people is probably the most laid-back capital in Asia. Located on the majestic
Mekong River with Thailand across on the other bank Vientiane (translated as 'sandalwood city') dates from the 10th century but has been the capital of Laos from the early 16th century to the present. At various times throughout its history Vientiane was controlled by Siamese, Burmese, Khmers, and more recently the French, and now displays a mix of many influences including Laotian, French, Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese.
Today Vientiane is a relatively small city with a relaxed atmosphere and treelined boulevards, French colonial architecture and old Buddhist temples to discover. Vientiane is also a good base for day trips to the scenic Nam Ngum Lake area or the visit the surrounding countryside.
The city has some excellent hotels. The boutique Green Park Hotel is probably the finest, followed closely by the colonial era Settha Palace Hotel. The Don Chan palace has a great location overlooking the river and offers comfort and value. The Beau Rivage Mekong is a charming small hotel on the banks of the Mekong. All excellent for Laos holidays.
Hotels in Vientiane
The Elephant Crossing, Vang Vieng
Simple, river-side hotel. A good base for adventures in and around beautiful Vang Vieng.
RV Laos Pandaw, Vientiane
A charming, colonial-style cruise ship in northern Laos with Experience Travel Group.
Chanthapanya Hotel , Vientiane
Conveniently located for Vientiane's numerous attractions, markets and restaurants