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Vientiane

Despite being the capital of Laos, Vientiane has quite a provincial feel, with elegant tree-lined boulevards and delightful colonial architecture all nestled on a curve of the Mekong River. 
It is a city that is perfect for exploring on foot.  It also has one of the finest temples in the country at Wat Si Saket, and it is well worth visiting The National Museum. There are several 2 or 3 day excursions from the capital including heading out to the Plain of Jars and, further afield, the quiet backwater of Nong Khiaw.Things to See and Do:

Pha That Luang is the national symbol of Laos. Legend has it that this golden stupa was built in the 3rdCentury AD and rebuilt many times over the following centuries. The area around the stupa comes alive at night and during the annual festival held during the full moon of November, which is an amazing time to visit.
 
Wat Si Saket is one of the most beautiful and treasured wats in Laos, with hundreds of small Buddha statues of different materials lining the walls of an incredibly atmospheric and holy wat.
 
Buddha Park is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, an interesting mix of Buddhist and Hindu deities spread out over the grounds outside of the capital on the banks of the Mekong. Odd but interesting.
 
The Laos National Museum is well worth a morning of your time, gaining a little more insight into the Revolution that over took the country in the 1970’s. Most of the displays are in Laos and French, which doesn’t help much, but it’s an interesting museum none the less.The Plain of Jars is best visited as part of a two night excursion away from the capital, but be warned, you will likely leave the area with little more knowledge than when you arrived, as nothing is really known about the civilisation that created it, around the same time as the First Emperor of China. More recently the area suffered badly from constant carpet bombing during the war between America and Vietnam, and you will see a lot of unexploded ordinance along roads used in all manner of ways -  from additions to houses and fence posts.

AT A GLANCE

  • Lion, Buffalo, Elephant, Leopard, Rhino, Wild Dog and Cheetah. This park has 3 out of our Big 7  icon
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