Kissing a curve of the Mekong River, right at the border with Thailand, there lies the timid capital of Laos. Also called “The City of Sandalwood”, Vientiane is rather a bunch of small towns than a city, yet it is a place of a charming grace. Perhaps the footprints of the French from the time of colonisation contribute to the capital`s elegant character. Unlike any other Southeast Asian city, Vientiane is surprisingly quiet, relaxed and very stylish. Characterised by broad, leafy boulevards and a lovely riverside promenade fringed with restaurants, the town has kind of romantic atmosphere.
Laos, as part of the former French Indochina, was marked by the European heritage and strong French influence throughout the country is undeniable. Vientiane is not an exception, of course. The streets are lined with colonial buildings, cosy cafes and lovely restaurants, French schools and historic villas. One would often bump into French people, both tourists and residents. On the other hand, Vientiane still represents the Laotian culture that is definitely not insignificant; the city is dotted Buddhist temples, pagodas and stupas, street markets and noodle shops.
The town centre is conveniently compact and it can easily be explored on foot which makes it very attractive to the independent travellers and tourist who do not like organised holidays. There is no need to take any tour for the sightseeing and no one would certainly get lost.