Vientiane is the capital of Laos and also the largest city there. It has a size of 130 km2. It is located on the river bank of the famous Mekong River. It is also bordering with Thailand. In 1563, the city named the capital of Laos due to fear of invasion by the Burmese. During the French colonization, Vientiane was the administrative city and now the city has been named the economic center of Laos. Many of the country's most significant national monument is placed here in Vientiane. The icon is That Luang, which is also the symbol of Laos and icon of Buddhism in Laos. Haw Phra Kaew is also placed here. One of the country's universities, which is The National University of Laos is located here as well.
Wattay International Airport is one of the few international airports available in Laos. The airport is considered as the main international gateway for Vientiane. The airport is located 3 kilometers away from the city center which is in Sikhodtabong District. It is an airport for both domestic and international flights. Some of the facilities available at Wattay International are banks, bars, restaurants, post office, internet café, duty-free shop and several lounges for passengers to wait for their flight. Passengers may go to the airport by either taking the shuttle bus, taxi, car or the tuk-tuk. The taxi stand is located right outside the main arrival hall while the shuttle bus stop was located outside of the international terminal. Some of the airlines that operate here are AirAsia, Lao Skyway, Vietnam Airlines and many more. There is also cargo airline that ships out cargos for the city. Manilla is a neighboring city, so tourists may take a direct flight to Vientiane that may cost around PHP 17,399.
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Vientiane is located at the center of Laos. The city is known to have a tropical climate and is dry most of the time. The best time to visit Vientiane would be between October to April. During these months the city is warm and dry. However, between November to January, the water level rises. Hence, it is easier for boats to pass through the waterway of the Mekong River. Tourists may want to avoid going to Vientiane between May to October. During these months the rainfall more often. Although the rainfalls are short most of the time, it may disrupt the travel plan to explore the city. Despite the rain, this is also the time where the waterfalls will begin to flow more and there will be lusher green environment and showcase more variety of wildlife.
In Vientiane, you can enjoy several events and festivals that are held there. For example, there is the Boun Bang Fai or Rocket Festival that is held in May or June. This festival is the mark of the sixth month of the lunar calendar. It is also used to call for rain or to celebrate fertility. There will be fireworks to celebrate the festival. There is also the Boun Visakhaboucha also celebrated in May. It is a candlelight procession at temples to celebrate the birth, enlightenment and also the death of Buddha.
1. Lao National Museum – Lao National Museum is where the locals or tourists may come to learn more about the people of Lao from the prehistoric times. It is located in an old French colonial building. The building is also falling apart and some exhibits are faded. However, the contents of the museum remain intact.
2. COPE Visitor Centre – COPE stands for Cooperative Orthotics and Prosthetics Enterprise where it aims to rehabilitate people who are affected by bombs that were planted during the war many years ago. Laos is the most heavily bombed country in history. Visitors may also learn about the unexploded devices in Laos as well as the treatment.
3. Haw Phra Kaew – Haw Phra Kaew is one of the templates in Vientiane. It is considered as one of the most beautiful and impressive temples there is. It was built in 1565 for the royal family and was the home for the Emerald Buddha. Now it is a museum to showcase the wood, stone carvings and collections of Buddha.