Under $100: Vientiane, Laos

by Angelique Platas

Oct 7, 2019

© John Pavelka | Flickr

Destinations / Asia

National capital of Laos, Vientiane showcases the best of the country’s French-colonial architecture and Buddhist history. Picture ancient shines, temples and serene vibes amid tuk-tuk rides and local cuisine. Among many reasons to visit, this city is a budget traveler’s dream.


Firstly, Vientiane is easily traversed on foot, by bike or tuk-tuk for a true tourist experience — for pennies on the dollar. While walking is free and one of the best ways to explore the city like a local, tuk-tuk rides average 5,000 LAK (57 cents) for three miles.


Next, you’ll need to know where you’re going and, luckily for travelers, Vientiane is full of free (or close to it) fun and highlights.


Head to Buddha Park, Xieng Khuan for essentially an open-air art museum filled with giant sculptures for about $2 a person. The Pha That Luang is another must while in the city with an entrance fee of about 50 cents per person, visiting the Great Golden Stupa is a steal.


Stroll down Lang Xang Avenue and snap a picture at Patuxai Victory Gate along the fountain for free, or visit the Haw Phra Kaew shrine and museum for about 50 cents. Other ancient sites, like Wat Si Muang and Wat Si Saket, all run about the same price, 5,000 Kip (50–57 cents), and are a must for history seekers visiting the capital city.


Since you saved your pennies throughout the day, the Vientiane Night Market will be a great way to end the day. Selling artisan goods, clothes, electronics, handicrafts and authentic Lao dishes, this red-roofed mecca is a market worth splurging on.


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