Sometimes a place so close can seem so far and when you finally get there, you wonder what kept you from visiting sooner. My work this year has given me the opportunity to travel to many South East Asian countries (as some might say “regional” travel) and though most days you miss the comfort of your own home, the almost monthly travels does have its perks; for a few hours in the evenings or early mornings, you get to explore the city. Some cities are not so convenient, but Vientiane, Laos is a great city to walk around even if you only have a couple of hours.
It’s so charming I have to confess that I have fallen in love with it and even as I am writing, images of its streets and shops appear like a trailer in my mind. It’s as if I have been charmed, intoxicated. There’s something about the place that makes me yearn to go back and visit once more.
A city with a population of roughly 700,000 to 800,000 on the banks of the Mekong river, Vientiane still retains many of it’s old world charms. There are no shopping malls, no large advertisement billboards or flashing electronic ads to numb our senses but rather there are streets of local shops and eateries nestled in between boutique hotels and guests houses. I’m not sure how long this old world charm this will last, seeing that there are plans to build a large World Trade Centre Complex, but I have to admit I have a selfish dream that it will continue to retain its charm.
What is there to see in Vientiane and should you visit it? Find out and follow me on my next few posts as I take you on a virtual tour around the city to ancient temples, bakeries, eateries and shopping.