Late in the afternoon the Mekong waterfront becomes a stage. Dance instructors, Jane Fonda a likes in workout suites gear it up, and at this time, when the sun is low and it cools down, Vientianes citizens come and join, first few, then when sun sets, there can be hundreds here. Mekong flows gentle by, behind them. Not stressed by the rhythm.

The early mornings, like in Luang Prabang, are in the hands of monks and their novices. Quietly flowing the streets for offerings. Vientiane has a distinct French touch, from its fine cuisines, crisp baguettes to its community of French people. Food lovers are well catered of.

Though Vientiane isthe metropolis if any in Laos, Laos is still laid back and slow compared to the surrounding world. As such Vientiane is a picture on Laos. It is changing, but changing slooooowly. At least seen from an outside world. For Laotians, many feel changes are fast.

On the other side, is Thailand’s Isaan province, and a bit downriver Nong Khai, a fine northeastern town, worth a visit and a stay if heading that way later.

Vientiane and Nearby Trips