The Busstation in Vientiane:
A transport with the Tuk-Tuk from the bus terminal into die city costs you at maximum 20.000 Kip p.P. The return trip can be a bit more expensive since the Tuk-Tuk might not be full. We managed to charter a public transport car called Songtel for 50.000 Kip.
Best completely ignore the Tuk-Tuks waiting around in the guest house area since they insist on you paying 100.000 for that trip. They will show you a list of completely made up fix prices on a laminated page to make you believe those prices are somewhat legit. Sadly many people fall for that kind of scam…
Hence, the best option is to stop a public transport car (Songtel) on the street and to tell the driver which bus terminal you want to be driven to. Don’t forget to name the city where you plan to take the bus to! The drivers then usually know which bus station is the right one for you to go.
Bus tickets are much cheaper at the bus station, we found it to cost up to almost half the price hostels or agencies in the city try to charge you.
A Local bus to the Kong Lo cave costs 80.000 Kip p.P. – leaves at 10 am and takes 7 hours. A Vip Bus from Luang Prabang to Vientiane costs 130.000 at the bus station (160.000 at the agencies) and leaves there at 8 am.
For General transport informations, just click on the following link: Wikitravel Vientiane
On our extensive search for affordable rooms we found the prices for dorm rooms to start at 30.000 Kip a night. The cheapest private room with a bathroom and only fan costs 60.000 Kip (with AC 80.000 Kip) but those rooms don’t have windows.
Decent rooms with windows and Air Con start at 110.000 Kip.
To pay the extra money for AC is a life saver in Vientiane – the city is very hot and humid during the entire day and does hardly cool off at night. Staying indoors without AC is just painfull, you will be thankful that you listened to us on that matter.
Our recommendation after checking out quite a few places:
Mixok Guest House (130.000Kip)
Clean rooms as well as comfy and clean mattresses. Breakfast is included with the choice of tea or coffee and baguette with fried/scrambled eggs /omelette or pancakes or fried rice. Although relatively expensive, it is not for vientiane standards and we did not regret staying there. It is located right in the centre of town and close to the Mekong.
- 188 Sethathirate Road, Mixay Village (Opposite the Mixay temple)
- Tel: +85621251606 / Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / www.mixokinn.de
- Reservation can be made via their website
Food and Drinks:
K.P.P. Restaurant (Chao Annou Road)
Tasty wheat-pasta and delicious toasted baguettes! To top it off, you’ll get french mustard to tune your baguette by giving it some real western taste.
Nazir Restaurant – Indian food (Chao Annou Road)
At Nazir Restaurant you’ll get very good and cheap Indian food, mains starting at 15.000 Kip, the Naan bread is amazingly good (soft and hot) and only costs 6000 a piece.
Must Try Dishes:
- Mutter Baghain bharta (baked eggplant with peas and sauce)
- Aloo baghain (Potatoes with eggplant dry sauce – not dry at all)
- Malai Kofta (cashews, raisins, vegetable and tofu balls in dry sauce)
The location of the restaurants and of the Mixok Guesthouse are marked in the following map
Actually there is not a lot to see. A few Wats or monasteries, a monument and a museum. In our opinion that’s all not worth the time. Only worth seeing might be Pha That Luang, the national symbol of Laos.
Go down to the promenade at the Mekong before sunset. Step down from the Promenade into the riverbed and walk until you reach the Mekong river. Enjoy the glaring red sun directly from the Mekong shore. Aftet sunset the promenade is bursting with locals doing sports, playing badminton or showing off artistic soccer skills.
Interested in reading more?
Why don’t you check out our blog entry: Vientiane – Asia’s most relaxed Capital | Towards New Horizons