48 hours in Vientiane – The City of Invaders

02, December, 2019

48 hours in Vientiane – The City of Invaders

Vientiane, the capital and the largest city of Laos, has finally been shaking off its cobwebs from the previous rulers and has joined the league of 21st century in no time. This city continues to be one of the most relaxed capitals in the world, which offers ravishing scenic views and urbanites who are always happy to help foreigners with a candid mind.Spending 48 hours in Vientiane is not enough to know the soul of the land of a million elephants!

The city still beholds the colonial imprints, but the southeast Asian city continues to maintain the traditional values, and the hospitality can find everywhere.  It is not a commercial frenzy city like any other southeastern metros, but it is a lovely relaxing environment for enjoying a holiday break free from all your hectic life.

Visa requirements:
Laos offers 30 days visa on arrival for citizens of the US, UK, Australia, Canada, and the EU.  You should have at least 6 months validity from the date of entry, and the traveler should have a return ticket. Visa on arrival will cost $35, and a standard visa issued from the embassies will cost $50, but the fee may vary depending on the nationality. The visa is extendable for 60 days. A citizen who is not eligible to get an online visa can contact their embassy and can obtain the entry permit.

How to reachVientiane?
By Air: You can reach Vientiane by air at the Wattay Airport, which 4 km west part of the city. But direct international flights are very few; however, you can take a flight to the nearest airport and then take a bus or a cab to this city, which will take about 3-4 hours by road to reach.

By Train: Reaching Vientiane is relatively easy by train. For commuting between Bangkok and Vientiane, tourists can board from Nong Kai station in Thailand and deboard at Thanaleng, which is 15km away from the Vientiane city center.

By Road: One can reach Vientiane from China, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam via roads. We suggest not to use a personal vehicle as the formalities are bit tiring when you cross the borders, you can always change vehicles from the border and enable your visa for 30 days a well.

When you are planning for a 48 hours short tour in Vientiane, you must plan your trip precisely from the moment you land in the city. Instead of heading a non-assist tour, it would be better to get in touch with a professional tour operator who has the local expertise. An experienced tour operator with a bilingual guide service can take care of your travel requirements, accommodation, and transit.

Let us check what are the things you can do in Day 1:

Wat Si Saket:
Make this place your first visit as you may find some interesting facts about the city, and from here you can move to the next areas quickly.It is a Buddhist temple built in 1818by King Anouvong, the last king of Vientiane, and today, only monks have the permission to stay here. Tourists can explore the area and learn about its history.

Part of the monastery, the cloister, and congregation hall have been using as a museum, and it is a home for than 10,000 of Buddha images, statues made of metals and woods in different poses. You can also watch the sad part of the aggression displayed in another corner of the exhibition hall in the form of damaged Buddha statues and artifacts.

Opening hours of this place: 8 am – 12 pm & 1 pm – 5 pm, 7 days a week.
Entry charges: 5000 Kip (approximately $1) (2000 Kip for locals)
Nearest Airport: Wattay International Airport (13 minutes)

Wat Ho Phra Keo
Located southeast of Wat Si Saket is Wat Ho Phra Keo, was for former Buddha temple, which is today a museum of artifacts of historical importance. It is believed to be constructed in 1565by King Setthathirath after he shifted the capital to Vientiane. It has built for serving the royal family, and it enshrined with Emerald Buddha for 200 years until the city invaded by Siamese under General Chao Phraya Chakri. He took away the statue to Thonburi, after destroying the temple.

The temple underwent many restorations, and recently too, it underwent some significant renovations andopened for the public. The gradient red and gold of this place will keep you mesmerized. The museum has many displays of Buddha statues in different postures and many ancient artifacts like stone tablets, palm-leaf manuscripts, wooden and bronze carvings, etc.

Opening hours of this place: 8 am – 12 pm & 1 pm – 5 pm, 7 days a week.
Entry charges: 5000 Kip (approximately $1) (2000 Kip for locals)
Nearest Airport: Wattay International Airport (13 minutes)

Patuxai / Victory Gate
Built-in 1960, this place is known as a war monument, made in the memory of the people who sacrificed their lives in World War II. It may look like the gate in Paris but has immense Asian interiors that make it very appealing. You can climb the 197 stairs to make it at the top of the gate, and enjoy a birds-eye view of the location.

Opening hours of this place: 8 am – 4:30 pm on weekday& 8 am – 5 pm on weekends.
Entry charges: 3000 Kip (approximately $0.40)
Nearest Airport: Wattay International Airport (18 minutes)

Riverside Night Market
Close to the Mekong River, you can visit the night market with stalls for food, clothes, accessories, souvenirs, and more. Take a walk around as the stretch of this place widens along with the river line, where you can find many local restaurants. Since the market focuses much on tourists, you need to be on your toes exhibiting your bargain skills. It is an excellent location to scroll around and do some souvenir shopping.

Opening hours: 4 pm – 10 pm
Nearest Airport: Wattay International Airport 5 hours
On your Day 2 start afresh:

Le Trio Coffee
Since the city is known for bread, wine and bakery, trying this outlet while you’re there, is a must. It is one of the famous cafés in Vientiane and sells the best coffee in town. You can find varieties of coffee here, and the artifacts present in the place will keep you engaged for a reasonable amount of time.

Opening hours: 9 am – 4 pm, Monday to Saturday
Minimum rates of espresso: 18000 Kip (approximately $2.50)
Nearest airport: Wattay International Airport (12 minutes).

Visit the Buddha Park:
Prepare for an exclusive visit to the famous Buddha Park, which is on the outskirt of Vientiane, required about a 1-hour bus journey from the city center. The park is a blend of Hindu and Buddha culture showcases about 200 idols of Buddha and Hindu gods. Among the various statues, the most important is the 390-foot reclining Buddha.

Opening hours: 8 am – 5 pm 7 days a week
Charges: 5,000 Lao Kip, pay extra 3,000 Kip for camera
Nearest airport: Wattay International Airport (1 hour by bus).

Have spiritual engagement at Pha That Luang:
The Great Stupa, which is known as Pha That Lung in the local dialect, is a prestigious Buddhist monument in Vientiane, located in the center of the city.  It was constructed by King Setthathirath in 1566 and had a golden cover over the pagoda, which had subjected looting and arson during the invasion of the Siamese. After various attacks by the Chinese, Burmese, and Siamese, it underwent many reconstructions. Its present form is the reconstruction executed by the French architect Louis Delaporte in 1930.

Opening hours: 08:00 am to 12:00pm and 01:00pm to 04:00pm Tuesday to Sunday. (Monday holiday)
Charges: 5000 kip
Nearest airport: Wattay International Airport (15 minutes by car).

Day 2: Wander the streets
Vientiane is the city full of history; since it also underwent French colonial rule, you can find the influence of French architecture. Walking around the streets will take you to amusing places with tons of history. You will also see the difference between new and old architecture designs, and some parts of the city are still intact without any changes.

Nearest airport: Wattay International Airport

Vientiane is a city full of stories. During the visit, you can expect some ravishing scenic views and stories behind every architectural building. Within 48 hours in Vientiane, it will be a challenging endeavor to cover all the important locations. Still, by visiting the sites mentioned above, you can at least have the cream of the city with cherishing memories.