24 hours in Vientiane, Laos - what to see and do

Well hello to you my reader chums! Laos is Thailand's quiet and less touristy neighbouring country that has so much to offer beyond the tourist sights. It has beautiful temples, friendly locals, cool markets, and generally, a whole relaxed vibe to explore. 

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24 hours in Vientiane, Laos

Vientiane is Laos' national capital and sits at the south of the country. Despite it being the capital, it isn't as popular as you may think nor is there a lot to do whilst you're there. The city is quite big but it's probably one of the quietest I've visited, and it's one of those places you don't need to spend a lot of time - but I still wouldn't take it completely off the agenda. Vientiane is a lovely city with friendly folk and a few great sights you should see. If you're there for a day or two, here's how to spend 24 hours in the city.

Visit the Wat Si Saket 

24 hours in Vientiane, Laos

24 hours in Vientiane, Laos

24 hours in Vientiane, Laos

As the oldest Buddhist temple in the city, visiting the Wat Si Saket is a must on your stay. It's not the biggest temple in the world, however, it's incredibly interesting. You'll see a crazy amount of Buddhas as you walk around and it'll really give you an insight into the history of the Buddha religion. The detailing on the temple is gorgeous, as well as the colouring. And the massive doors always make a good Instagram shot so you can't go wrong really. The fee to get in is 10,000 kip which works out around £1 - which means you're seeing a beautiful and historic site for basically nothing.

Head over to the Patuxai and its gardens

As you travel through Laos, you'll notice a lot of French-inspired things from the food to monuments like the Patuxai. The inspired lifestyle is due to the French colonial period in the late 19th century - so don't be surprised if you find baguettes and croissants in every single bakery. This monument is incredibly similar to the Arc de Triomphe, if not, exactly the same. It even has the same circular road surrounding it and walk-through a path which is incredibly interesting.

24 hours in Vientiane, Laos

The monument is around a 15-20 minute walk from the temple, and if the day is cooler, then it's easy to get to in no time. There is no entry fee unless you want to climb to the top to see the overall view of the city, which is very inexpensive. The monument is attached to a small amount of greenery/mini-gardens which is ideal to cool down and relax after a long walk.

Make the journey to Pha That Luang

The Pha That Luang is probably the main icon for Laos' capital and a gold vision of heaven. It's essentially a glorious gold temple with a few other mini temples and a large sleeping gold Buddha within the grounds. It's one of those places where you'll be in awe of the architecture and the sheer beauty really. As it's a temple grounds, it's also incredibly peaceful and quiet - and there weren't many tourists at all during our visit.

24 hours in Vientiane, Laos

24 hours in Vientiane, Laos

The temple is the other side of the city compared to the Patuxai and would take around 30 minutes to walk it from there. Or alternatively, you can get a tuk-tuk/taxi. Entry is around 5,000 kip which is literally pennies, and the experience is so worthwhile.

Dine at Namphou Park 

24 hours in Vientiane, Laos

If you're looking for a small hub of restaurants and bars for the evening then Namphou Park is a good shout. The centre features a pretty fountain and surrounding that are a selection of places to eat and drink - with the roads around it offering the same.

Go shopping

In Laos, the weather can get extremely hot that escaping to an air-conditioned shopping centre is honestly a dream! There are two main ones near the attractions, the Vientiane Center and Talat Sao Shopping Mall.

Browse the city 

Like any city, by taking a walk around you'll discover some hidden gems, cool restaurants and quaint little roads which sway away from the main centre. Having a browse will also give you a little insight into the flow of Laos city life - and probably fall in love with the vibe. You won't be able to get over how calm everything is.

Where to stay

The main sights in the city are easily accessible by foot, but if you do want to see them all, then try and stay in a central location which is easy to navigate - and there are loads of hotels to pick from. I stayed in the S Park Design Hotel which was honestly incredible and I would highly recommend it. The staff was super lovely, and let us use the amenities after we'd checked out as we were waiting for our bus - and the hotel has the loveliest pool (with a waiter dining service). Plus, the decor is really modern and has a strong car theme - and they have an epic bar/nightclub downstairs. 

S Park Design Hotel Laos

You really can't go wrong! If you want a bit of luxury for a one-night stay, it's perfect. Can you tell I really loved this hotel?

I hope you enjoyed this 24-hour guide! Have you visited Laos before?

Thank you for reading <3

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