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Home Laos Vientiane: A Visitor’s Guide ⇒ Information for the Visitor

Vientiane: A Visitor’s Guide

6Information for the Visitor

Getting There

  • By air:
  • From Bangkok, Thai Airways and Lao Aviation fly regular flights.
  • By land:
  • From Thailand’s Nong Khai via the Friendship Bridge. Visas usually available at the border. If you are driving from Thailand you can leave your car just before the custom’s post where there are secure parking facilities and catch a shuttle bus to the Lao immigration buildings. If you the correct insurance documents you can need to get assistance from the travel agents who will provide legal paperwork and arrange a lawyer to meet you on the other side and take you through formalities. This is obligatory.
  • By river:
  • Down the Nam Song by truck inner tube from Viang Vieng- 2 days. Down the Mekong by boat from Luang Prabang around 5 days.
  • By rail:
  • The line from Bangkok has recently (2009) been extended over the Friendship Bridge to a station just inside Laos. Eventually this will run through to China.

Where to Stay

The country code for Laos is +856.
The area code for Vientiane is (0)21.

There is a wide range of hotels and smaller guesthouses in Vientiane. Click here for a listing of Vientiane Hotels.

The prices below are 2003 prices but I have left them here just to give you some idea. Prices are quoted in US$. Hotels (and most other places in Laos) quote in US$ and Thai baht. The Kip is very weak while denominations are low so and even small transactions can involve huge wads of paper. Prices are often lower if you pay in Baht or US$. Many hotels offer free airport transfers. All the hotels below are within 10 minutes walking distance of each other and dozens of smaller guesthouses.

  • Settha Palace Hotel
  • The hotel of choice. Delightful restored colonial building beautifully decorated with rosewood floors and furniture. Very friendly and helpful staff. Can be full during the high season (Dec-Mar). 6, Pang Kham Street, P.O. Box 1618, Vientiane. Tel: +856 (0)21 217581-2, Fax: +856 (0)21 217583, email or visit their website. Doubles US$98 all-inclusive with breakfast.
  • B & P Hotel:
  • A brand-new, 5 story building with 24 good, clean rooms. A good second choice. Khounboulom Road, Ban Watchanh, Chanthaboury District, Vientiane. Tel: +856 (0)21 241066, Fax: +856 (0)21 240916, email. Doubles US$21 all-inclusive with breakfast.
  • Lane-Xang Hotel
  • (Pronounced lan sang.) On the bank of the Mekong. 103 rooms with peeling wallpaper and scarred furniture. Once the hotel. Full facilities inc. swimming pool & tennis & nightclub. Fangum Road, P.O. Box 280, Vientiane. Tel: +856 (0)21 214100-6, Fax: +856 (0)21 214108 Doubles US$25 all-inclusive with breakfast.
  • Lao Plaza Hotel Vientiane
  • Massive modern hotel complex like hundreds the world over so you won’t know you’re in Laos. Full amenities complete with snooty staff. 63 Samsenthai Road, P.O. Box 6708, Vientiane. Tel: +856 (0)21 218800-1, Fax: +856 (0)21 21808-09, email, or visit their website. Doubles from US$120 plus taxes, room only.
  • Tai-Pan
  • Another brand-new hotel. 2-12, François Nginn Street, Mixay, Chanthabury District, Vientiane. Tel: +856 (0)21 216906-9, Fax: +856 (0)21 216223, email or visit their website. Doubles US$64 all-inclusive with breakfast.
  • Day Inn Hotel
  • 059/3, PangKham Rd P.O. Box 4083, Vientiane. Tel: +856 (0)21 223847, Fax: +856 (0)21 222984, email Doubles $US30 all-inclusive with breakfast.


  • Scandinavian Bakery
  • Very popular with travellers and the local expat community. A variety of sandwiches and pastries. Seating is available next door and outside. Often full. A godsend if you’re desperate for a taste of home. 74/1, Thanon Pangkham Vientiane Tel: 021 215199
  • Bicycle Hire
  • Most hotels and guesthouses have bicycles for hire. B&P hotel for example charge 1US$ a day.

Must See

  • Wat Si Muang
  • At the junctions of Thanon Setthathilat, Thanon Samsenthai & Thanon Tha Deua.
  • Wat Sisaket
  • At the corner of Thanon Lane Xang & Thanon Setthathilat.
  • Pha That Luang
  • On Thanon That Luang.
  • Haw Pha Kaew National Museum
  • on Thanon Setthathilat opposite Wat Sisaket.
  • Xieng Khuan Park
  • (Buddha Park) 24km south of town off Thanon Tha Deua. This is another of Luang Pu Bunleua’s exotic creations, the elder sister of Asom Kaew Koo across the river in Nong Khai.
A local production of the Ramayana.
A local production of the
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