Vientiane Journals

Sabbai dee and sankyou very much!

A May 2005 trip to Vientiane by Kez

That Luang Photo, Vientiane, Laos More Photos
Quote: Located on a sweeping bend of the Mekong River the city of Vientiane is the provincial, slow-paced, sleepy capital of landlocked Laos.Not expecting much I really enjoyed my visit here and I was surprised to find that I was quite taken with it's indefinable charm and the graciousness of it's people.

Sabbai dee and sankyou very much!

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Overview

That Luang Photo, Vientiane, Laos
Quote:
Wiang Chan is not big on sights and is pretty small, so it is easy enough to explore in a day or so. Because Laos has only been open to tourism for a relatively short amount of time, approximately 15 years or so, the people are so refreshing and not jaded; they are just a delight to be around. Any small compliment results in a wai (small bow and prayer-like hand gesture similar to that in Thailand) and a sank (thank) you very much. They are definitely what makes Laos so special. The main sights in Vientiane are: That Luang - the most sacred stupa or Buddhist monument in Laos Patuxay Park, with the Victory Gate Monument similar to the Arc de Triomphe for its...Read More

Mali Namphu

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Hotel

Mali Namphu Photo, Vientiane, Laos
Quote:
You can’t go past the Mali Namphu just off Nam Phu park. Built around an internal courtyard the rooms are very secure with only the one entry in and out past Reception. The staff are really friendly and always ready for a chat. I found them very efficient in handling my booking via email prior to leaving and very helpful when we arrived. The rooms are not large but comfortable and the air-conditioning worked a treat. Guest house rules according to the in house information sheet include: * the front gate being locked at 12 midnight but knock at the gate to be let in (I'm not sure anywhere in this sleepy capital would be open until then) * no...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 6, 2005

Scandinavian Bakery

Restaurant | "Scandinavian Cafe"

Scandinavian Bakery Photo, Vientiane, Laos
Quote:
The Scandinavian café is a great place for lunch and you can not beat their beautiful French style breads and fillings and huge selection of pastries.It also makes a nice change from rice and noodles.It has a two level eating area that is air-conditioned and a small outdoor section if you like to swelter. Very efficient you fill in the menu order form yourself, ticking off what type of bread, which filling if you want butter, salt and pepper and so on, hand it in, pay and the waitress brings it to you when ready. They do great shakes and also offer a bottomless cup of coffee. The cake display is to die for. I guess it depends on how much walking you are doing or your waistline....Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 6, 2005

Scandinavian Bakery
74/1 Phangkam Road
Vientiane, Laos
+856 21 215 199

PVO

Restaurant | "PVO Cafe"

PVO Photo, Vientiane, Laos
Quote:
This small enterprising cafe was one of our favourite little places to wind down and relax in. Serving freezing cold beer Lao at just 6000 kip a bottle sitting at the front of the cafe offered one of the most interesting places to watch the world go by and the torrential rain come down, which at times it certainly did!Their menu includes fantastic stuffed baguettes including the local specialty; that of pate and vegetables. They also offered a range of Vietnamese dishes including fresh rice paper rolls with a choice of do it yourself fillings. Family run, you can meet up to 4 generations over the duration of one beer.They also offer motorbike (scooter) hire for a reliable bik...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 6, 2005

PVO
344 Samsenthai Road
Vientiane, Laos
+856 21 214 444

That Luang

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Attraction | "Stupa That Luang"

That Luang Photo, Vientiane, Laos
Quote:
Said to contain a hair from Buddha the giant stupa of That Luang is the most sacred site within Laos and a symbol of Lao independence. The original That Luang built in 1566 was in ruins from various attacks and looting. The French began reconstruction at the beginning of the last century. The base of the stupa has walkways and stairs connecting the different levels, designed for the faithful to climb. I found it disappointing in that you were unable to use the walkways when we there. You had to be content to walk around the outside at ground level.I must admit I did not find it that impressive. It was quite overcast when we were there so maybe we did not see the true effect with the...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 6, 2005

That Luang
That Luang Road
Vientiane, Laos
+856 21 212 251 (Lao

Patuxai Monument/Victory Gate

Attraction | "Patuxay Park with the Victory Gate "

Patuxai Monument/Victory Gate Photo, Vientiane, Laos
Quote:
Patuxay Park holds the monument of the Victory Gate. Built in the sixties this large gate was modeled on the Arc de Triomphe in Paris but with a local flavour. Approached via a grand boulevarde graced with ornate French style lamps the gate is one of the tallest buildings in the capital and is well worth a visit for it offers some fantastic views. You pay a small admission fee to climb up the gate and there are two levels to take in the views. Lots of steps though. Ignore the no photography signs - everyone else was when we visited so we took our prompt from them and started snapping away. Although the arch itself appears very French it is when you take a closer look th...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 6, 2005

Patuxai Monument/Victory Gate
End of the Grand Lang Xang Avenue
Vientiane, Laos
+856 21 212 251