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Things to do

Things to do in Vientiane

  • French Cultural Centre (Centre Culturel et de Cooperation Linguistique), Lane Xang Rd. Has a French library and a small theatre that shows plays and films.
  • Holiday BarberChou Anou Rd (Across from the Home Ideal Department Store).This place may be the best salon in Vientiane. Hour long massage for 30,000 kip, manicure/pedicure plus foot scrape for 30,000 kip, Brazilian blowout 100,000 kip.
  • Kuanjai Sikhot Boxing Gym (Muay Lao (kickboxing)) (On the same road as the airport, going out of town; head towards the Sekhai Market. Turn right before the market, then go straight and make the first left turn, go straight another 700 m), +856 20 56632835. The national sport of Lao PDR. Similar to muay Thai, but is not a tourist trap unlike many gyms in Thailand.
  • Lao Dhamma Center KM 38 (On Rte 13, to the south, at km38). Peaceful Buddhist meditation centre with a daily schedule dedicated to sincere meditation practice. Foreigners welcome. Hard to find such a place elsewhere in Laos.
  • Lao Experiences Cooking Course and Food Tours (Bookings at The Full Moon Cafe),  +856 20 95553097, +856 20 55699429. Daily. Learn about Lao cooking and culture. Cook Lao-style in the garden on a quiet stretch of the Mekong River.
  • Lao National Stadium (Chao Anouvong National Stadium), Rue Le Ky Huong.
  • Lao Massage (Next to The Drop Zone on Chao Anou Rd). This massage shop is particularly delightful. The massage parlour does not really have a name, and the most prominent sign merely says "now open". Your masseur or masseuse will be grateful for a tip. The staff will be happy if you have the decency to take a shower before you go. They won't say anything to your face, but smelly foreigners make their job less than pleasant. USD3-6/hour.
  • Monk Chat (Sangha College (Wat Onteu)). Once a month, local monks gather for chats with tourists.
  • Nam Ngum Lake (90 km from Vientiane). A local favourite. There are floating restaurants along the lakeshore; their specialty is fish fresh from the lake. Cruises among the lake's islands can be booked here, which makes for a relaxing couple of hours. Just enquire at your guest house/hotel or at any travel agency (where they will then try to sell their tours).
  • Patuxay ParkThannon Lan Xang
  • Tour via Vientiane ByCycleBan Sithan Neua (Tours start in front of Spirit House Cafe), +856 20 55812337. Vientiane ByCycle offers awesome guided bicycle tours through and around Vientiane. They take you off the beaten track to places where you usually would not go ordinarily. Along villages, temples, school yards, bank of Mekong River, crematoria, markets and local businesses. They have excellent quality mountain bikes.
  • Hire a bicycle from Lao BikeSetthathirath Road (opposite Wat Ong Teu), +85620 55090471, e-mail: . Explore the region with a good quality bicycle. Rent by the day or longer. Bikes are for sale and can be repaired too. $2 to $6 per day.

Laos - Travel guide