As our travels were soon to be taking us to Vietnam, we needed to get our Visa’s sorted before heading to Southern Laos-and so we made our way to the capital where we could get things sorted at the Vietnamese embassy.
Strangely enough, Vientiane doesn’t figure on many peoples ‘to-do’ lists when it comes to Laos. You often hear people talking up Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng and 4000 Islands, but the capital just doesn’t seem to feature as a tourist draw.
Personally I think that this is a bit of a shame, it’s a bustling city with some fantastic street food options and plenty to see, and wholeheartedly recommend that you add it to your itinerary should you be planning on a visit to Laos.
In the most part we were just sightseeing a city while our Visa was processed, so rather than bore you with the details-I’ll do it with pictures instead!

Wat Si Saket

Wat Si Saket

The many Buddha images found surrounding Wat Si Saket

The many Buddha images found surrounding Wat Si Saket

Sunset over the Mekong in Vientiane

Sunset over the Mekong in Vientiane

Watching over the Mekong is a statue of King Settathirath, the king who established Vientiane as the capital city in the 16th century

Watching over the Mekong is a statue of King Settathirath, the king who established Vientiane as the capital city in the 16th century

Patuxai Arch or the Arc de Triomphe of Vientiane

Patuxai Arch or the Arc de Triomphe of Vientiane

View from the top of the Patuxai Arch

View from the top of the Patuxai Arch

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Notice anything odd...?

Notice anything odd…?

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Some great food to be had in Vientiane-with many Vietnamese influences

Some great food to be had in Vientiane-with many Vietnamese influences

King Setthathirat guarding Pha That Luang

King Setthathirat guarding Pha That Luang

Pha That Luang (Great Sacred Stupa)

Pha That Luang (Great Sacred Stupa)

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Gone fishing

Gone fishing

Great use of available land between the city and the river

Great use of available land between the city and the river

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One thing that does need a special mention from our time in Vientiane is COPE, a local not-for-profit organisation that works in partnership with the Centre of Medical Rehabilitation (CMR) and provincial rehabilitation centres to provide access to both orthotic/prosthetic devices and rehabilitation services, including physiotherapy, occupational therapy and paediatric services to people with disabilities.
http://www.copelaos.org/
Each year many people are injured and left with debilitating injuries as a result of the millions of UXO still lost in the countryside of Laos, COPE is just one of the many charities looking to address the ongoing problems that are faced here. The COPE visitor centre gives you an excellent insight into harsh realities of the these ongoing issues, and despite the grave subject matter-you leave the centre with a feeling of optimism…Definitely add this to your itinerary if you are visiting Vientiane.

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