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Vientiane Travel Guide

Formerly a sleepy backwater capital of an evenly backwater state, the capital of Laos, Vientiane, is a delightful and friendly city set on the swirling waters of the mighty Mekong River. The bustling capital is dotted with crumbling French styled mansions, bougainvillea – blooming streets and steaming noodle stalls. Travelers’ enclave is based around Nam Phu, the Mekong riverside and Setthariat and Samsenthai streets.

There are a lot of things to see, from Buddha Park to the Morning market and a rich selection of international cuisine – most pointedly French – you’ll slowly fall in love with the easy charms of this evolving backwater. Unlike Luang Prabang, Vientiane may not reveal its beauty readily, yet you must spend a few days visiting its unusual sights, snacking and quenching your thirst by a cup of Beer Lao at dusk by the river.

Despite a rise of hotels, bars and restaurants, the city still retains tree-lined dirt roads complete with peaceful temples and easy-going inhabitants. The pace of life, as in all aspects of the country, is best described as slow – yet you’ll soon feel at home here.

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