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  • Vientiane, Laos
Vientiane street scene
Priority: High
Location Type: Destination
The relaxed capital of Laos with an estimated population of 210,000 sits on the bank of the Mekong bordering Thailand. The traveler friendly city offers a good introduction to Lao culture.


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Vientiane, Weather / Climate Chart (temperature, precipitation)

Weather / Climate Chart, Vientiane
Yearly temperature and rain chart showing the best travel times and seasons for Vientiane.


best time to visit: November - February (the cooler part of the dry season)
rainy season: May - October
average humidity: 69 %
annual rainfall: 1650 mm
average elevation: 171 m


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Wikipedia - Vientiane

Patuxai, Vientiane
Patuxai, built in the 1960's to celebrate Laotian Independence

Vientiane (Lao ວຽງຈັນ; literally "City of Sandalwood") is the capital city of Laos, situated in the Mekong Valley. It is also Laos' largest city. The estimated population of the city is 200,000 (2005) 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 for the first time the 25th Southeast Asian Games in December 2009 celebrating the 50 years of SEA Games.
Sri Sattanak, or Sisattanak (Lao: ສີສັດຕະນາກ; Pali: श्रि शत्तनक् शिसत्तनक्), 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.

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Wikitravel - Vientiane

Pha That Luang, Vientiane
Pha That Luang, the national symbol of Laos

Compared to the hectic, bustling capitals in other Southeast Asia countries, Vientiane's deliciously relaxing atmosphere makes it feel like the small town it is. After you've done the round of temples, the best thing to do here has always been to wander down to one of the riverside beer gardens, kick back with a cold Beerlao - the Lao national beer - and watch the sun set over the Mekong.

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