Vientiane is considered a quiet capital with not so many places to visit as a tourist.
We stayed 5 days in Lao’s capital and we concluded that there are a plenty of things to do there, from visiting museums to just relaxing with a good Lao or French coffee.
Here’s what we liked the most from our visit:
1. Cope Visitor Center
Laos is the most bombarded country in the world per capita. Between 1964 and 1973 the US executed 580,000 bombing missions. This means a bomb load for every 8 minutes, 24 hours, for 9 years. After the war, more than 75 million unexploded bombs have been left in Laos.
In rural areas, accidents occur frequently. Children go into the woods and bring home metal scraps of bombs, some of them containing explosives. They think they bring something of value to the family or something they could use in the house. When the explosion occurs the majority of them lose one or more limb.
The majority of adults can recognize the metal, but even so, sometimes they take the risk and they make different home objects like bowls, spoons, fences etc. The majority of accidents with adults occurs when they step on an unexploded bomb. After the explosion, they lose one or more of their limbs or even their life.
Cope Visitor Center is one of the saddest places we’ve ever visited, perhaps because the accidents still happen nowadays, and because those people have to live a difficult life.
Cope Visitor Center helps people to function better after the accident. There is no entry fee, but donations or purchase of products are encouraged. Even if it’s sad, it’s real. Do not miss it if you arrive in Vientiane.
2. Wat Sok Pa Luang
For those of you who are looking for a place to relax and to meditate, this temple is the ideal place. Every Saturday and Sunday there are meditations alongside the Buddhist monks. It’s a wonderful experience and we totally recommend it. On Saturday it starts at 3 PM and on Sunday at 8 AM.
3. Sisaket Temple
Located just in front of the Presidential Palace, Sisaket temple is different from the others we have seen before. What makes it special is that it was the only temple left during the Thai invasion. It is an old and quiet building with a lot of history.
4. Buddha Park
One of the main attractions near Vientiane is Buddha Park. Situated 25 km away from the capital, Buddha Park is an impressive exhibition with many sculptures. To get there, you just have to go to the Morning Market and take the bus no. 14, for only 6,000 kips.
We also visited other attractions, but these impressed us the most.
We really enjoyed Vientiane and for sure you have a lot of things to do there.
Ancuța & Cristi