Holiday makers enjoying their annual vacation in Thailand should think seriously about adding another country to their ‘been there done that’ list. A short inexpensive flight from Bangkok can take trippers top the sleepy city of Vientiane. This is the capital of Laos and offers a great deal of exploration and entertainment ideas for holiday makers who like to dive in at the deep end.
After spending time in Bangkok it starts to get at you a little bit. Don’t get me wrong, its a fantastic and exciting city, but it is full on twenty-four-seven, and it doesn’t exactly leave you rested and relaxed. By getting to Suvarnhabumi Airport you can be in Laos in a couple of hours and in a whole different world.
The airport at Vientiane is just two miles out of town so it couldn’t be easier to get into the nation’s capital. I got a tuk tuk and again this was another nice surprise. As with all cities around the world airport transport can be a rip off but I was warned in advance. It should cost 30,000 kip but they will try and ask for 55,000. Just refused politely and they come down. Once in town the tuk tuks are more like public transport and you can just jump on and off as they drives past.
The city of Vientiane is really lovely. There is a small town square that has amazing restaurants all the way round. They all have outside terraces and offer a wide variety of cuisine. i ate at a different one every night for 6 days and never had a bad experience. The atmosphere here in the early evening is brilliant. It gets really busy as holiday makers, expats and the local better off people come to eat, drink and chat.
For sight seeing trips the main attraction is Pha That Luang, the golden covered stupa that has become the national emblem for this delightful coutry. The people were as friendly as I have met anywhere. I had nights out with locals and a couple of girls acted as a tour guide for me. i just bought them lunch and on the second day took them to dinner. They were delighted and it wasn’t expensive.
There is a large victory arch here called Patuxai. It is seen as being very important to the Laos people and was built out of concrete intended for the airport. Because of this, the locals have given it the nickname of the Vertical runway, but it is held in high regard and the name is just a bit of fun.
I loved Laos and Vientiane, it was such a welcome change. Restful and tranquil with amazing people, I would recommend it to anyone.