On the banks of the mighty Mekong River sits Laos's capital, Vientiane. Discover its fascinating culture and history on a tour of the city's key sights. With intriguing museum exhibits, significant religious places, and inspiring aid work, there is much to discover in the former French colony.
Begin at Wat Si Saket, believed to be the city's oldest surviving monastery. It now doubles as a museum, housing almost 7,000 images of Buddha, made primarily of ceramic and silver. Then take a short walk to Haw Phra Kaew. This temple formerly housed the Emerald Buddha figurine, and it still displays an impressive array of Laos and Khmer art.
Your religious journey continues at Pha That Luang, considered a national symbol and the country's most important monument. It's said to contain the bones of the Buddha himself. Afterward, stop at COPE, an organization dedicated to helping victims of UXOs—unexploded weapons.
Conclude your tour by climbing Patuxai, a memorial honoring those who fought for independence from France, and a structural nod to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. From here, admire fantastic views across the city.