In February, the weather is so cool, and nothing better than making a spring trip with your family and friends to Vientiane, the peaceful land of the famous land of a Million Elephants. There are many ways to explore the capital of Laos. Here is the suggestions for a day trip to help you not to miss the precious moments in Vientiane in 24 hours.
6h: Arriving in the Vientiane bus station
There are many tuk tuk waiting and the drivers warmly welcome travelers. It is 15 km from the central bus station (located along the Mekong River, where you can see the neighboring country of Thailand from this riverbank) to Vientiane and takes LAK 20,000 / person.
7: Find a room and store your lugguage
There are countless hotels and motels in the central area – Chanthabouly distric that all directions lead to major road along the Mekong River. If you stay at the hotel overlooking the river, the price will be high. To save costs, you can select a hotel on Frangcois Ngin road.
8am: Have breakfast at a rustic restaurant with typical dishes from Laos.
9h – 12h: Visit the Buddha Park (Xiengkuane Buddha Park )
You can hire a tuk tuk at the corner of the intersection for 220,000 kip to visit famous places in Vientiane such as Buddha park, Pha That Luang, Ho Phra Keo Temple and Patuxay triumphal arches. A tuk tuk can transfer 6 guests. Remember to bring some snacks or pastry for lunch because the tour directions are quite far from the center.
Buddha Park (Xiengkuane Buddha Park) is located in the village of Thadeua, about 25 km to the east of Vientiane centre, built in 1958 in a 4-hectare campus by the monk Bounlua. The park is considered a magnificent monumental sculpture with more than 200 large and small Buddha statues with different shapes, made of cement . There is a strange statue shaping like a giant pumpkin with mouth open, inside there are three floors represent hell, earth and heaven. You can walk up the stone steps beside the narrow aisle to go to heaven and enjoy panoramic view park Buddha statue. Entrance fee to visit the park is LAK 5,000.
13h – 14h: Pha That Luang Tower Sightseeing
Pha That Luang, or That Luang is located at the end of Lan Xang, is a world’s cultural heritage and the national symbol of Buddhist land of Million Elephants. This is the largest tower relics and most beautiful in Laos, which was built from 1566 on the ruins of an Indian temple from the 13th century, with the exterior is covered in gold. The main tower of the That Luang is surrounded by 3 massive wall layers, decorated with gilded lotus petals and splendid small towers. Surrounding the tower is a green lawn and the covered corridors. In the campus there are two small temples: Wat That Luang Neua to the north and Wat That Luang Tai to the south.
Entrane fee for the Lao people is LAK 2,000/person, for foreign visitors is LAK 5,00/person. It opens from Monday to Sunday, from 8am to 12pm in the morning, from 13h to 16h in the afternoon. Before coming inside, if tourists wear shorts or short skirts, a sarong will be provided to cover the lower part of the body.
14h30 – 15h30: Visit Ho Phra Keo temple, which is famous for rare sculptures.
Ho Phra Keo temple is the second famous site in Vientiane, after Pha That Luang. It is a temple but never had the monks living, built in 17-18 century when King Setthatirath moved new capital from Luang Prabang to Vientiane. Nowadays, there are many precious documents related to Buddhism preserved here and they are considered national treasures. Surrounding the temple are rows of sophiscicated bronze Buddha statues. Entrance fee is LAK 5,000
16h – 17h: Admire Patuxay the triumphal arches
Patuxay symbolizes the victory of Lao people, located at the rotation of Lan Xang Avenue – the largest avenue Vientiane. Previously, the Patuxay triumphal arches was called Anou Savary (anonymous soldier tower), built in 1958. The bottom and outside of the triumphal arches is modeled on the Arc de Triumphe (Paris, France) , but the top and interior of the architecture shows specific architecture and reliefs of Laos. Standing on the top floor of Patuxay , you can admire the peaceful rhythm of life of people in Vientiane.
17h30: Return to the hotel to rest and buy tickets for other leg of the journey advance, to Vang Vieng or Luang Prabang (Other places in Laos that you should not ignore).
18h: Walking around the streets, flea markets along the shores of the Mekong River.
All kinds of goods are sold in this market, such as clothing, shoes, scarves, jewelry. With LAK 15,000 you can buy a pair of earrings or a short pants.
19h: dinner at a roadside stall
Most of restaurant in Laos serve fried rice and noodles. It’s hard to find a restaurant serving white rice dishes but very easy to meet a Laotian speaking Vietnamese. We can say that the fried rice in Laos is extremely delicious. In particular, the Han Sam Euay Non on Chao Anou road (parallel to the Frangcois Nghin, Chanthabouly district) has special exotic fried rice processing. Slightly fried gold layer of rice mixed with young coconut, fried egg, chopped pork skin, some sour, spicy and salty vermicelli, served with lettuce, basil and yardlong bean. Vegetable salad is also delicious and unique thanks to a cup of spicy, sweet and sour sauce with peanuts. A big dinner just costs LAK 15,000.
20h: At the end of the day, take a walk around the street at night, enjoy the fresh air and you can visit some stalls to enjoy the taste of beer Lao.