Vientiane is the capital of Laos. The golden temple of That Luang, built in the 16th century, is considered its national symbol. Wat Sisaket is famous for having thousands of Buddha statues. Another temple complex, Wat Simiang, is built on the ruins of a Hindu sanctuary.
Warnings & Dangers in Vientiane
OVERALL RISK : LOW
Vientiane is a calm and safe city to move around. However, minor troubles also happen here. Tourists need to be careful, watch out for their belongings and their surroundings.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
Public transport is not reliable enough in Vientiane. Better to use a taxi service. Taxis are safe. Use only licensed services.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : HIGH
Pickpocketing is very common. As well as snatching bags from passers-by. Use an anti-theft backpack. Do not leave personal items unattended. Keep important documents and valuables in the hotel safe.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
The region is prone to droughts, floods, and storms, the most common hazards, and they are expected to become more severe due to climate change. Examine the surroundings and the weather before you visit this city.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
Armed robberies and kidnappings do not happen in Vientiane. This region is usually free from such serious crimes. In any case, stay out of trouble and respect the local culture and customs.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
The risk of terrorism is not high in this region. However, in any case, avoid political and religious demonstrations.
SCAMS RISK : MEDIUM
Petty fraud with counterfeit banknotes is possible, especially in small shops. Purchase services and goods in trusted places and double-check everything.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
Women traveling alone in Vientiane can feel completely safe. Use common sense, dress modestly, do not draw undue attention to yourself, and your journey will be completely safe.
How Safe Is Vientiane for Tourists?
Vientiane is generally a fairly safe city to visit.
The crime index here is low.
The main problems are related to the theft of things and vandalism.
The city also has big problems with corruption and bribery.
Petty fraud and bag snatching from passers-by are common in the city.
Never leave your bag in an accessible place.
If your bag is grabbed, immediately start screaming: criminals rely on the reaction of tourists, silently trying to pursue them without alerting numerous police booths.
Thieves are often drug addicts.
Vientiane has bad roads. Keep this in mind if you are traveling by car, especially in the dark.
Illegal drugs are a problem throughout Laos and certainly so in Vientiane.
Even very young children can try to peddle “happy pills” to tourists.
Avoid any relationship with drugs; it is illegal and will be punished.
Long trousers and sleeves are recommended when visiting temples or official offices.
Foreign women wearing the traditional long sarong (siin) are very welcome.
At night on the streets of the city, some vagrants can be drunk and dangerous.
Avoid walking in the dark city streets.
Always be attentive to your belongings and your surroundings to avoid trouble.
You can move freely in the city and avoid any trouble if you are attentive and not lose your guard.
Do I Need a Visa to Visit Vientiane?
Visitors to Laos must obtain a visa from one of the Laotian diplomatic missions or online unless they come from one of the visa-exempt countries or qualify for a visa on arrival. All visitors must hold a passport valid for 6 months.
Which Currency Is Used in Vientiane?
The kip is the currency of Laos since 1955. Historically, one kip was divided into 100 att. The currency has a code: LAK and sign: ₭ or ₭N.
How's the Weather like in Vientiane?
In Vientiane, the wet season is oppressive and overcast, the dry season is humid and partly cloudy, and it is hot year-round. The best time to visit this place is during the months of November to February.
What Do I Need to Know about Airports in Vientiane?
Wattay International Airport is one of the few international airports in Laos and its main international gateway. The airport is located 8 km from the city center.
Should I Get Travel Insurance for My Travels?
The travel insurance policy is a must when visiting a foreign country or city. Make sure you got it before starting your journey. The customs officer may ask for it.
What Are Some Things to Do in Vientiane?
As Vientiane is also on the river, you can stroll along the riverfront promenade and enjoy local markets as well as sample delicious street food snacks. There is also a clutch of interesting ancient buildings here, such as Buddhist temples, and you can get outside the city in no time to explore the little villages dotted around the encircling countryside.
Is the Water in Vientiane Safe to Drink?
The tap water is not potable here. Use bottled water.
Is Uber Safe in Vientiane?
Uber is not available in Vientiane. You can use any other local taxi services.