What to Do in Vientiane as a Solo Traveler

Friday, November 30, 2018

Vientiane, the capital city of Laosinfo-icon, is beautiful, vibrant and charming and has its unique way of luring people. If you are considering what to do in Vientiane, there are plenty of things that will amuse you in this small city. 

The ambiance is both colonial and cultural with magnificent buildings and other monuments. Many temples and pagodas signify that the city is dedicated to Buddhism. 

So, if exploring culture and history is your thing, then Vientiane is an ideal place for you. Some amazing places to visit in Vientiane are listed further in this post!

Pha That Luang - Vientiane Great Stupa

Pha That Luang Temple is a symbolic golden stupa that is 40m high!
Pha That Luang Temple is a symbolic golden stupa that is 40m high!

The city is home to the iconic and the most sacred monument of Laos which is a stupa with two temples adjacent to it. The stupa is 45 meters high, and its outer surface is covered with actual gold.

The interior is even more spectacular as it is filled with images of Buddha, beautiful flowers and animals. One interesting fact about Pha That Luang Stupa is that its built on three levels each resembling an ascent from earth to sky. 

The first level is underworld while the second represents Buddhism and the third is symbolic of heaven. It’s a must place to visit and therefore make this your top what to do in Vientiane activity.

Patuxai Victory Monument

You can climb on top the Patuxai Victory Monument and enjoy the epic view over Vientiane.
You can climb on top the Patuxai Victory Monument and enjoy the epic view over Vientiane.

This massive arch located in the center of Vientiane towards the Lane Xang Avenue will give you scenic views of the entire city. The structure of this will not fail to fascinate anyone as it’s a rich combination of intricate architectural patterns and decorated walls and ceilings. 

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The paintings you see here depict the gods, goddesses and some other prominent elements. The Patuxai was built as a symbol of tribute to the rich Laos culture and traditions. 

You can also climb to the top of the arch to see the picturesque Vientiane city. The opening hour of the arch is from 8.00 A.M to 5.P.M. You need to pay a small fee to climb to the top though.

Vientiane Night Market

The Night Market in Vientiane is a vibrant place where a lot of things are going on.
The Night Market in Vientiane is a vibrant place where a lot of things are going on.

Wondering what to do in Vientiane to make your tour fun? Head to this riverside market. It is the place that is ideal for any traveler hunting for great souvenirs and looking for useful goodies at handy prices. 

You won’t fail to notice the market as it takes up most of the Mekong riverside and makes the place colorful. The market is primarily aimed for tourists, and the products range from Laos-inspired paintings to ethnic clothes. 

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The market also offers a few stalls offering delicious meals and is open from 6.p.m to 10.pm every day. It’s ideal to save this as your last destination on your Vientiane tour.

Lao National Museum

Lao National Museum has all the answers regarding the Laos history from the ancient times through colonial and communist regime times.
Lao National Museum has all the answers regarding the Laos history from the ancient times through colonial and communist regime times.

Lao National Museum was known as the Lao Revolutionary Museum until it was renamed in the year 2000. Being one of the famous places among local and foreign tourists alike, the museum will answer all your curious questions about the city. 

It holds traces of ancient Laos, French colonization, and communist rule. If you are thinking what to do in Vientiane in an informative and entertaining way, this is ideal. 

While the ground floor showcases thousand years old relics including dinosaur bones, upstairs is full of new historical facts and items. 

Also, there are exhibits on unexploded ordinances from the American war and a collection from the Plain of Jars.  

Traditional Laos Herbal Sauna and Massage

This old spa house near the Wat Sok Pa Luang temple offers the most authentic massage experience in Vientiane.
This old spa house near the Wat Sok Pa Luang temple offers the most authentic massage experience in Vientiane.

Craving for an authentic experience in Vientiane? Then this is your next what to do in Vientiane activity! Travelers almost never miss the traditional Laos massage as there are plenty of places offering the service at different budgets. 

However, this small spa in an old jungle house is known to offer the best experience even with the necessary facilities. The massage beds here are surrounded by greenery to make you feel relaxed, and the steam bath will pamper you with a fragrant smell of herbs. 

Read more: Two Days in Vientiane

The herbal massage costs around 35,000kip while the steam bath costs 15,000kip. The spa is located close to the Wat Sok Pa Luang Temple, and it is something that you will never forget about your visit to Vientiane.


There is plenty of answers to the question of what to do in Vientiane. As a city that has gone through its share of good and bad days, Vientiane is an interesting combination of scenic attractions and tragic remnants. The traditional city is gradually stepping towards becoming a modernized one to provide its inhabitants with a better living. However, the old charms still remain to preserve the native Laotian culture and tradition. It is a city that is very easy to explore, and you will never go out of things to do here. But, the above said places occupy the top of what to do in Vientiane list as they will help you explore the real essence of this city. 

Raeesha Ikram freelance content writer for aSabbatical
Travelling isn’t a mere journey to different places. Instead, it’s an eye-opener revealing how beautifully diverse the world is.