Explore the intoxicating mix of old and new that is Vientiane. Visit sacred pagodas where locals have gathered to pray for hundreds of years and wander through a sprawling garden of modern Buddha statues. Witness the deft skills of Lao craftsmen using techniques passed down through the generations and learn about the horrible toll that modern warfare has taken on the country.
Join local worshippers at Wat Phra Keo, Wat Sisaket and That Luang, the city’s holiest monuments.
Visit a workshop making beautiful traditional Lao textiles from locally-grown, high-quality silk.
Learn about the impact of UXO (unexploded ordinance) on the Lao people and the efforts underway to eliminate these war relics.
Classic Vientiane - 3 Days / 2 Nights
Upon arrival into Vientiane, our guide and driver will be waiting at the airport to provide transport to the hotel for check in. After checking in, enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure.
It’s recommended to spend the first evening along the banks of the Mekong River. Strolling along the river, stop to enjoy a cold drink or sample some snacks from one of the many local food stalls. This area is very popular with locals who go to exercise in the park in the evenings. It’s also ripe with a range of stalls selling unique souvenirs.
Overnight in Vientiane
Begin the day on a guided city tour exploring some of the hidden charms of Vientiane.
Start the day with a hotel pick up (09:00. Head for the serene Wat Sisaket, one of the city’s most beautiful temples and the only remaining temple after the Siamese (Thai) invasion of 1828.
Continue on to the nearby Wat Phra Keo, a temple-cum-museum which displays a collection of both Lao and Khmer works of art. Take note (from the outside) of the nearby Presidential Palace, offering a glimpse into the city’s colonial roots.
Stop at Wat Simuang, the most popular and venerated temple in Vientiane. Next, pay a visit to That Dam. Located near the morning market, this “Black Stupa” was once covered with a layer of gold which was stolen by the Thais during their invasion in 1828. From here, travel on to nearby Pangkham Street, which reflects how traditional areas of the city are embracing modernity.
Take a break for lunch today at a Local restaurant.
After lunch, pay a visit to COPE, an association working to help landmine victims. A visit to the center provides in-depth information about the history of the American/Vietnam war and the lasting impact of unexploded ordinances (UXO) in the area and the efforts underway to clear them.
The next visit of the day is to the holiest site in Laos: That Luang. Constructed by King Setthathirat in the 16th century, the temple is resplendent as the sun shines upon its towering golden spire.
Wrap up the day with a visit to the Patuxay monument, Laos’ version of the Arc de Triomphe. Climb the stairs to the roof for some sweeping, panoramic views over the city.
Overnight in Vientiane
Start the morning with a 45-minute drive out to Buddha Park. En route, stop and take photos of the Friendship Bridge which was built by the Australian government in 1994 and links Laos and Thailand.
Arrive at Buddha Park and enjoy a stroll around. Also known as Xieng Khuan, this unusual park is filled with over 200 Buddhist and Hindu statues. The quiet and tranquil setting along the Mekong River is a contrast to the slightly eccentric sculptures which were built in 1958 by a Lao shaman.
After visiting Buddha Park, start the drive back to Vientiane.
En route, stop at the Lao Disabled Women Development Center. This center aims to bring knowledge and skills to disabled women so that they can become confident, self-sufficient members of the community. A visit to the center provides the opportunity to talk to these women and to observe their skills at creating handicrafts such as handmade paper.
Return to the city around lunch time with some free time to relax before transport (provided) to the airport for the departing flight.
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