This is my own walking tour in Vientiane. If you are like me – who loves the art of slow walking (and getting lost), then this walking tour itinerary is for you. The good news is that you can see all the sights in one day (or half), depending on your pace (and how you walk! 😂).
Vientiane, the capital city of Laos, is a treasure trove of rich history and cultural landmarks waiting to be explored. Embarking on a walking tour through this charming city allows you to experience its unique blend of traditional attractions.
Walk with me on this adventure as we discover the must-visit tourist attractions that make Vientiane a captivating destination!
My journey began at the Presidential Palace, a striking architectural masterpiece that reflects the city’s colonial past. This grand building, once the residence of the French Governor, showcases a perfect blend of European and Lao architectural styles. Strolling through its immaculate gardens and observing the elegant facade, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for Laos’ history and the country’s political significance.
Wat Ho Phra Keo
Next, I made my way to Wat Ho Phra Keo, a sacred temple that houses a collection of exquisite Buddhist sculptures and artifacts. Originally built in the 16th century to serve as a royal temple, Wat Ho Phra Keo is renowned for its ornate carvings and delicate murals. The tranquil atmosphere and the stunning beauty of the temple’s interior make it a spiritual sanctuary worth exploring.
Continuing my journey, I walked across the street and entered Wat Sisaket, the oldest surviving temple in Vientiane. This architectural gem is famous for its thousands of unique and meticulously crafted Buddha statues. Stepping inside the temple’s inner courtyard, you’ll find yourself immersed in a serene and awe-inspiring environment. Wat Sisaket is a testament to Laos’ religious heritage and a place of contemplation and tranquility.
That Dam Stupa
My next stop was That Dam Stupa, a mysterious black stupa shrouded in legends and folklore. According to local beliefs, this ancient monument is inhabited by a seven-headed naga serpent, which guards the city’s prosperity. The enigmatic allure of That Dam Stupa makes it an intriguing site to explore and allows you to immerse yourself in the mystical tales that surround it.
Patuxai Victory Monument
As I strolled further, I stopped at Patuxai, the iconic Victory Gate of Vientiane. This imposing monument, reminiscent of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, is a symbol of Laos’ struggle for independence. Ascending to the top of Patuxai offers panoramic views of the city, rewarding visitors with a breathtaking sight. Whether you’re captivated by its historical significance or seeking a vantage point to soak in the city’s beauty, Patuxai is a must-visit attraction.
Pha That Luang
From Patuxai, I headed towards Pha That Luang, Laos’ national symbol and a revered Buddhist monument is this majestic golden stupa. The impressive architecture, adorned with intricate designs and exquisite craftsmanship, leaves visitors in awe. Exploring the serene grounds surrounding Pha That Luang, you’ll feel a sense of peace and reverence, understanding why it is one of the most sacred sites in Laos.
The Giant Reclining Buddha
When I exited Pha That Luang, I walked on my left and went straight to the end. I got across the street and found the entrance to Wat That Kao. You will find the gardens where the giant reclining Buddha peacefully sleeps here. Sit on one of the benches, and enjoy the end of your day.
Concluding my walking tour in Vientiane, I had traversed a path steeped in history and spirituality. From the grandeur of the Presidential Palace to the serenity of the temples and the cultural significance of the monuments, this journey has provided a glimpse into the rich tapestry of Vientiane’s past and present. So, put on your walking shoes and embark on your own adventure in Vientiane to experience the allure of this captivating city.
Watch the TikTok video of my own walking tour.
Where to stay in Vientiane
I’d recommend these two highly-rated hostels in Vientiane: Nana Backpackers Hostel and SYRI Guesthouse Hostel and Cafe. BOTH hostels have standard and dormitory-type rooms. They are also in the center of the city and within walking distance of all the sights you want to see in Vientiane. And if you are a wandering nomad, their wifi connection is good, too!
Bangkok to Laos/Vientiane by Train via Nong Khai
Well, there’s really no direct train from Bangkok to Vientiane. All you have to do is take an overnight train from Bangkok (Bang Sue Station) to Nong Khai Train Station (close to the border with Laos). You can buy your train and bus tickets here.
From there, you take a tuk-tuk to the border (20 Baht), cross the border, and then take a bus (35 Baht) to the Laos immigration border office. And once you pass the Laos immigration, take another bus to Vientiane Central Station (13,000kip).