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Vientiane Attractions

Overview of Vientiane

Vientiane is the capital and largest city of Laos, situated in the Mekong river. Vientiane became the capital in 1563 due to fears of a Burmese invasion. During French rule, Vientiane was the administrative capital and due to economic growth in recent times, it has become the economic centre of Laos.

The estimated population of the city is 754,000 (2009) while the number of people living in the Vientiane metropolitan area (the entire Vientiane Prefecture and parts of Vientiane Province) is believed to be over 730,000. The city hosted the 25th Southeast Asian Games in December 2009 celebrating the 50 years of SEA Games.

Sri Sattanak, or Sisattanak , is a former name of Vientiane. It is often confused with Sri Sattanakanahut, the Pali name of Lan Xang, the Kingdom of the Million Elephants. Sisattanak now is the name of one of the five districts of the city Vientiane.

The annual average temperature in Vientiane is around 28 °C/82 °F. The maximum is 38 °C/100 °F in April and May. January in Vientiane sees a low of about 19 °C/66 °F. Temperatures in mountainous areas can plummet to 14-15 °C. It can even soar to the high 50 °F or higher during the winter months, and drop to freezing or lower in the nights. The Annamite Mountains in southern Laos get the highest average precipitation of more than 3000 mm (10 feet) per year. The average precipitation is highest in southern Laos, where the Annamite Mountains receive over 3000 mm (10 feet) annually. The annual rainfall in Vientiane is 1500-2000 mm (5 to almost 7 feet), and just 1000-1500 mm (3-5 feet) annually in the northern provinces.

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A weekend in Vientiane

Vientiane is a long way from the buzz of cities like Bangkok or Hanoi, and is quite likely to be one of the smallest capital cities you’ll ever visit. Two days is usually enough for most travellers passing through to see the highlights — here’s how we’d ...

lao national museum

The Lao National Museum

This two-storey colonial mansion became the Lao National Museum in 1985 and houses enough relics of Lao history and culture, both ancient and modern, to make a visit worthwhile.The first rooms you come upon after entering the museum are filled with a hodgepodge ...


Wat Ho Phra Kaew

Visitors to this lovely temple set amid manicured grounds would never guess it has had such a turbulent history. The wat was originally built in 1565 to serve as the temple of the Lao royal family, but was razed and looted during the Thai invasion.The name of the ...


Buddha Park (Wat Xieng Khuan)

Buddha Park, like many ofVientiane’s other attractions, is more curious than spectacular. A rogue monk is said to have attempted to reconsolidate Buddhism and Hinduism into his own brand of mysticism through a rather prolific collection of sculptures depicting ...

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