Vientiane: Exploring the Capital of Laos Through Photos

It had been nearly two years since I first stepped foot into Vientiane, Laos. Although it may now be a little busier than I remember, this sleepy little capital city hasn’t really changed a lot. It’s quite a different place compared to the rest of Laos. Although small, Vientiane is certainly still a city, full of traffic filled streets and lots of modern buildings; and, as is a common occurrence in poorer countries, a lot more money and effort is put in here compared to other towns in the country. It’s not uncommon to see wealthier people sipping coffee in air conditioned cafes and coffee shops, or eating a meal in a fancy restaurant.

Vientiane may be a different world compared to the rest of Laos, but it still has its charm and atmosphere, a strong cafe culture left behind by the French, along with plenty of tourist sites to check out.

In this photo essay, I’ll take you through the capital of Laos during my recent return to the city, where we stayed for nearly a week. A lot of people don’t have anything great to say about Vientiane, but after viewing these photos, you may change your mind and want to stop in for a few days.

Buddha statue at Ho Phra Keo in Vientiane, Laos

A Buddha statue at Ho Phra Keo – Vientiane’s oldest temple, now a museum

Flowers at Ho Phra Keo in Vientiane, Laos

Flowers on a hedge in the gardens of Ho Phra Keo

Statue and monument in Vientiane, Laos

A monument and statue in the riverfront parklands

Night market in Vientiane, Laos

Browsing the night market along the riverfront at sunset

Glowing clouds in Vientiane, Laos

The setting sun makes some coming storm clouds glow above the city

Young couple watching the sunset in Vientiane, Laos

A young local couple watch the sunset over the Mekong River

Sunset over the Mekong River in Vientiane, Laos

Sunset on the Mekong River

Group of guys watching storm clouds in Vientiane, Laos

A group of guys watch the exercise group that sets up each evening along the riverfront

Riverfront parklands at night in Vientiane, Laos

Walking through the riverfront parklands as night sets in

Monks outside Wat Sisaket in Vientiane, Laos

Visiting Buddhist monks read a sign amongst tourists in Wat Sisaket

Viharn at Wat Sisaket in Vientiane, Laos

The Viharn (main shrine) at Wat Sisaket

Buddha statue at Wat Sisaket in Vientiane, Laos

Buddha statues of different sizes at Wat Sisaket

Carved wall at Wat Sisaket in Vientiane, Laos

Little alcoves containing tiny Buddha statues in the wall of the inner courtyard at Wat Sisaket

Patuxai in Vientiane, Laos

Patuxai: The huge victory monument in the centre of the city

Ceiling art at Patuxai in Vientiane, Laos

The ceiling inside the arches of Patuxai

View of parkland from Patuxai in Vientiane, Laos

View of the parklands below from the top of Patuxai

View of a government building from Patuxai in Vientiane, Laos

View of the city and a huge government building from the top of Patuxai

That Luang in Vientiane, Laos

Walking up to That Luang

Golden stupa of That Luang in Vientiane, Laos

The huge golden stupa of That Luang

Beautiful sunset in Vientiane, Laos

Another beautiful Vientiane sunset

Glowing horizon at sunset in Vientiane, Laos

A glowing horizon as locals exercise along the riverfront just after sunset

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12 comments… add one
  • Jen Seligmann Feb 2, 2014

    Super stunning pictures Dean. Thanks for sharing.

  • PetiteFromage Feb 2, 2014

    Your photographs are absolutely suburb! Another country to add to my bucket list! Thank you x

    • Dean Wickham Feb 4, 2014

      Thank you so much. I think Laos should be on everyone’s bucket list.

  • Terri Feb 3, 2014

    Gorgeous! I traveled to Vientiane in 2008; it really is such a beautiful city. Thank you for nudging at those memories! šŸ˜€

    • Dean Wickham Feb 4, 2014

      Hi Terri. I’m sure Vientiane has changed a bit since you visited, but it is certainly still a nice place to visit. Glad I could bring back some memories for you šŸ™‚

  • Love the photo of the guys pointing towards the crows of people along the riverfront… the long shadows are great.

    • Dean Wickham Feb 15, 2014

      Hi Stephanie. Thanks for checking out my photos. I like that photo a lot as well. Cheers

  • Great. Love all the photo. It’s really good shot.

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