Vientiane Tourism

Vientiane is the largest city of Laos as well as its commercial and administrative capital. Spreading lightly on the banks of the Mekong River, this Laotian city is visited for its beautiful architecture and its refreshingly laidback attitude. Nothing is ever fast in Laos, not even in its fastest city. While Laotian villages complain that Vientiane is too fast for their liking, tourists often say that it never moves fast. Sandwiched between these two contrasting elements, the Laotian capital never gets disheartened. Time may have left its impression on the city, but the capital never really stopped right at it. The city changed hands multiple times since its formation in the 12th century till it fell into the hands of the French in 1893. The French repaired whatever damage the previous rulers had done to the temples and built several buildings in their colonial style. One can see the French influence in Vientiane to this day. Laos attained its democratic freedom in 1975. After that, Vientiane became the official capital of the country and that changed the city’s fortune. The French had already worked for conserving the natural history in the city and the new Pathet Lao government helped to increase tourism to Laos. Despite the modernity and commercial tourism in the neighbouring Thailand, Laos is relatively virgin. Even in Vientiane you will see the traditional form of life visible in the interiors of the country. If you wander around the streets of this city, you are likely to see rice and vegetable fields hidden by tree-lined pathways right in the town centre. Modernity has not changed the face of the city completely, it has learned to reside alongside the traditional values. This could very well be one of the reasons why it has suddenly become a very popular tourist destination. The sticky wetness of rice fields is perfectly contrasted by the small of baking baguette and freshly-brewed coffee, all of which are an integral part of Laotian culture. A trip in Vientiane shows how harmoniously the colonial influences have blended with local customs.

Essential travel information and Vientiane tips for your visit

General Info:

  • Time zone: UTC +07.00
  • Currency: Lao Kip, Thai Baht, US Dollar
  • Language: Lao, French, English
  • Electricity: 230V, 50 Hz
  • Internet: Most of the hotels and public spots in Vientiane offer free Wi-Fi.
  • Security: Emergency number: 212520

Tipping: Tipping is not expected but appreciated in some services.

  • Most of the Chinese and Vietnamese businesses are closed for three days during the Chinese New Year celebrations.
  • Beware of bag snatchers.
  • Dogs in Vientiane can be dangerous. Do not encourage any when in Vientiane.
  • Modest dressing is recommended at all times.
  • Maintain proper levels of hygiene.
  • Always carry small change and a water bottle with you.
  • Always carry a photocopy of your passport with you.
  • You say hello to the locals by joining hands.
  • Control the volume and tone of your voice. Laotians look down upon those with loud voices and short tempers.
  • You may be required to remove your shoes at temples and some other places.
  • Ask for permission before clicking photos. Many locals will indulge you for pictures if you ask them.

The best tours and activities in the city, guided by experts to give you a local insight to the best of Vientiane

  • Save 4% Vientiane Half-Day City Tour
    Vientiane Half-Day City Tour3 Reviews

    Duration: 4 Hrs

    Enjoy a half-day guided tour to discover the hidden charms of Vientiane meaning the "city of sandal wood". Vientiane is one o...

    Book Now
  • Save 4% Guided Vientiane City and Buddha Park Full-Day Tour
    Guided Vientiane City and Buddha Park Full-Day Tour3 Reviews

    Duration: 8 Hrs

    Discover the hidden charms of Vientiane, translated as'the city of sandalwood.' Vientiane is one of the quietest capital citi...

    Book Now
  • Save 4% Half-Day Vientiane City Tour
    Half-Day Vientiane City TourNew on TripHobo

    Duration: 4 Hrs

    Regarded as the smallest capital in South East Asia, Vientianes laid-back atmosphere brings customers closer to its French in...

    Book Now
  • Private Departure Transfer: From Hotel in Vientiane to the Airport
    Private Departure Transfer: From Hotel in Vientiane to the Airport3 Reviews

    Duration: Flexible

    A professional reliable transport service offering private transfers from your hotel in Vientiane to the airport in modern ai...

    Book Now
  • Know the pollution level of Vientiane before you plan your visit.

    • Air Pollution 66.25 (High)
    • Water Pollution 75 (High)
    • Noise and Light Pollution 54.17 (Moderate)
    • Unattended dirt and garbage 69.44 (High)
    • Drinking Water Pollution and Inaccessibility 48.68 (Moderate)
    • Dissatisfaction with Garbage Disposal 78.13 (High)
    • Dissatisfaction to Spend Time in the City 51.25 (Moderate)
    • Dissatisfaction with Green zones and parks 61.11 (High)
  • How safe is Vientiane for tourists? Understand risks and safety concerns that can hamper your travel experience in Vientiane.

    • Burglary and Theft 56.82 (Moderate)
    • Mugging and Robbery 31.82 (Low)
    • Assault and Armed Robbery 31.82 (Low)
    • Corruption and Bribery 95 (Very High)
    • Car Stealing 40 (Moderate)
    • Robbery of Car belongings 36.36 (Low)
    • Attacks 20 (Low)
    • Drug offense 40.91 (Moderate)
    • Safety walking alone during daylight 97.5 (Very High)
    • Safety walking alone during night 79.55 (High)
    • Insulting and offensive behaviour 18.18 (Very Low)
    • Hate crime due to Racism, Religion, ethnic origin 13.64 (Very Low)
    • Property crimes and Vandalism 47.5 (Moderate)
    • Safety Index 62.25 (High)
    • Climate Index 74.16 (High)
    • Pollution Index 74.24 (High)
    • Traffic Commute Time Index 45 (High)
    • Health Care Index 34.26 (Low)
    • Property Price to Income Ratio 18.62 (Very High)
    • Indices such as Quality of life, Climate & Healthcare index are good to be high whereas others such as Property price, Traffic & Cost of living Index are good to be low.

  • Here's how much it will cost to shop in Vientiane

    • Local calling per minute on Prepaid mobile 0.1 USD
    • International Movie per seat 5 USD
    • Summer clothing in a chain store 48 USD
    • Pair of Basic Nike Shoes 103.33 USD
    • Pair of Basic Levis Jeans 70 USD

*Stats and figures mentioned are crowd-sourced ‚Äčand subjected to change without notice.

* Some of the data on this page is powered by Numbeo