13°21′42″ N 103°51′38″ E
Laos was one of the harder countries to do research on. I had a couple suggestions from friends, but many of those involved long bus rides. Not wanting to waste the little time we had in the country tired and grumpy from the bus rides left us with not many options.
Google image searches left me wanting to see the Kiang Si waterfalls in Luang Prabang and Buddha Park just outside of Vientaine. (We also added Vang Vieng to the itinerary and that was a great choice!)
The capital of Laos is a little boring, but it also was the perfect gateway to this new country. Coming from Hanoi, the quiet streets of Vientiane were a breath of fresh air.
Literally able to stroll down the middle of the side streets, Tom and I enjoyed walking by the river and visiting the temples scattered around town.
We stayed at the PP Backpackers and don’t have much to rave about. It was $22 and after our $20 ***1/2 Star hotel in Hanoi it was a vast contrast. We had air con and cable tv, but the internet didn’t quite stretch to our room and the only bathroom was 3 floors down.
There were many other guest stays and hostels on our same street which were less expensive and I can only imagine nicer.
While we loved our first day because it was so different to Hanoi, you don’t need many in this little city. For the 2 days we were there, it was the perfect taste of what the rest of this country had to offer.
Where to Eat
The street food across the street and to the right from PP backpackers
The best local food we could find was just across the street and to the right from PP Backpackers. I have no idea what the name of the restaurant was, but we enjoyed their curry, papaya salad, pad thai, and chicken with thai basil.
The Thai restaurant next to Comma Coffee
Once again another restaurant I don’t know the name to, but the best food we had our entire time in Laos was the building just to the right of Comma Coffee. They have limited hours, we only caught them our first day for lunch but it was worth it.
Spending for Atmosphere There is a fancy area of town with sit down restaurants if you’re looking for a more western experience before you head out to the rest of the country. We didn’t even bother looking at the menus, but it’s there if you need a break from local food.
Indian food. We looked at a couple of the Indian restaurants but decided to stick to the local food our first nights in town. Looking back knowing I would cycle through my favorite 4 dishes I would have grabbed some Indian food…although I guess I can’t say it would have been good…
Where to Drink
Beerlao can be found in every restaurant and it’s definitely the best SE Asian beer I’ve ever had. We enjoyed the dark lager even more!
We passed Chokdee Cafe, and were immediately excited to get some Belgian Beer. After 2 months drinking Asian pilsner it was definitely a treat! Chokdee has by far the best selection of beer I’ve seen anywhere in Laos, Vietnam, The Philippines and Siem Reap.
We found this coffee shop at the same time we found the Thai Restaurant next door and it quickly became our go to for coffee while we were in town. The Wifi isn’t amazing, but if you can get the Thai Restaurant’s password, theirs is much better.
What did you think of Vientiane and Buddha Park?
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