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Vientiane ( , ; lo, ວຽງຈັນ, ) is the
capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowercase (or more formally ''minusc ...
and largest city of
Laos , national_anthem = "Pheng Xat Lao "Pheng Sat Lāo" () is the national anthem A national anthem is a song that officially symbolizes a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often r ...

Laos
, on the banks of the
Mekong River The Mekong or Mekong River is a trans-boundary river A transboundary river is a river that crosses at least one political border, either a border within a nation or an international boundary. Bangladesh has the highest number of these rive ...

Mekong River
near the border with
Thailand Thailand ( th, ประเทศไทย), historically known as Siam, () officially the Kingdom of Thailand, is a country in Southeast Asia. It is located at the centre of the Mainland Southeast Asia, Indochinese Peninsula, spanning , wi ...

Thailand
. Vientiane became the capital in 1573, due to fears of a
Burmese
Burmese
invasion, but was later looted, then razed to the ground in 1827 by the
Siamese
Siamese
(Thai). Vientiane was the administrative capital during French rule and, due to economic growth in recent times, is now the economic center of Laos. The city had a population of 948,477 as of the 2020
Census A census is the procedure of systematically calculating, acquiring and recording information Information is processed, organised and structured data Data (; ) are individual facts, statistics, or items of information, often numeric. In ...

Census
. Vientiane is noted as the home of the most significant national monuments in Laos – That Luang – which is a known symbol of Laos and an icon of
Buddhism in Laos Theravada Theravāda (; Pāli, lit. "School of the Elders") is the most commonly accepted name of Buddhism's oldest existing school. The school's adherents, termed Theravādins, have preserved their version of Gautama Buddha's teaching or ...
. Other significant Buddhist temples in Laos can be found there as well, such as
Haw Phra Kaew Haw Phra Kaew ( lo, ຫໍພຣະແກ້ວ), also written as Ho Prakeo, Hor Pha Keo and other similar spellings, is a former temple in Vientiane Vientiane ( , ; lo, wikt:ວຽງຈັນ, ວຽງຈັນ, ) is the capital city, capit ...

Haw Phra Kaew
, which formerly housed the
Emerald Buddha The Emerald Buddha ( th, พระแก้วมรกต , or ) is an image of the meditating Gautama Buddha seated in the lotus position, made of a semi-precious green stone ( jasper rather than emerald Emerald is a gemstone and a varie ...

Emerald Buddha
. The city hosted the 25th Southeast Asian Games in December 2009, celebrating 50 years of the
Southeast Asian Games The Southeast Asian Games, also known as the SEA Games (SEAG), is a biennial multi-sport event A multi-sport event is an organized sporting Sporting may refer to: *Sport, recreational games and play *Sporting (neighborhood), in Alexandria, Eg ...
.


Etymology

'Vientiane' is a French corruption of the Lao ''Viangchan'' , reflecting the difficulty they had with the Lao pronunciation. The name was previously written '' but now usually written ''. Lao ''viang'' () refers to a 'walled city' whereas ''chan'' (, previously ), derives from Sanskrit ''candana'' (, ), 'sandalwood' and can be translated as the 'walled city of sandalwood'. Some Laotians mistakenly believe it refers to the 'walled city of the moon' as ''chan'' can also represent 'moon', although this was previously distinguished in writing as ''. Other romanisations include 'Viangchan' and 'Wiangchan'.


History


Dvaravati city state kingdoms

By the 6th century in the
Chao Phraya River The Chao Phraya ( or ) ( th, wikt:เจ้าพระยา, แม่น้ำเจ้าพระยา , or ) is the major river in Thailand, with its low alluvial plain forming the centre of the country. It flows through Bangkok and th ...
Valley,
Mon people The Mon ( mnw, မန်; my, မွန်လူမျိုး‌, ; th, มอญ, ) are an ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or person ...
s had coalesced to create the Dvaravati kingdoms. In the north,
Haripunjaya Hariphunchai or Haribhunjaya (from th, หริภุญชัย, in turn from pi, Haribhuñjaya) was a Mon kingdom in the north of present Thailand ) , royal_anthem = '' Sansoen Phra Barami''( en, "Glorify His prestige") , i ...
(
Lamphun Lamphun ( th, ลำพูน, ) is a town (''thesaban mueang Thesaban ( th, เทศบาล, , ) are the municipalities of Thailand. There are three levels of municipalities: city, town, and sub-district. Bangkok and Pattaya are special municip ...
) emerged as a rival power to the
Dvaravati The Dvaravati ( th, ทวารวดี ) period lasted from around the 6th to the 11th century. Dvaravati refers to a culture, an art style, and a disparate conglomeration of principalities of Mon people. Archaeological research over the past t ...
. By the 8th century the Mon had pushed north to create city states, in Fa Daet (modern
Kalasin Kalasin ( th, กาฬสินธุ์) is a town ('' thesaban mueang'') in northeast Thailand ) , royal_anthem = '' Sansoen Phra Barami''( en, "Glorify His prestige") , image_map = , map_caption = , capital = ...
, northeastern Thailand), Sri Gotapura (Sikhottabong) near modern Tha Khek, Laos,
Muang Sua MuangMueang ( th, เมือง ''mɯ̄ang'', ), Muang ( lo, ເມືອງ ''mɯ́ang'', ), or Mong ( shn, ''mə́ŋ'', ) were pre-modern semi-independent city-states or Principality, principalities in mainland Southeast Asia, adjacent regio ...
(
Luang Prabang Luang Phabang, (Lao language, Lao: wikt:ຫລວງພະບາງ, ຫລວງພະບາງ/wikt:ຫຼວງພະບາງ, ຫຼວງພະບາງ) or ''Louangphabang'' (pronounced ), commonly Transliteration, transliterated into We ...

Luang Prabang
), and Chantaburi (Vientiane). In the 8th century CE, Sri Gotapura (Sikhottabong) was the strongest of these early city states, and controlled trade throughout the middle Mekong region. The city states were loosely bound politically, but were culturally similar and introduced
Therevada Buddhism Theravāda (; Pali, Pāli, lit. "School of the Thero, Elders") is the most commonly accepted name of Buddhism, Buddhism's oldest existing school. The school's adherents, termed Theravādins, have preserved their version of Gautama Buddha's teach ...
from
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka (, ; si, ශ්‍රී ලංකාව, Śrī Laṅkā, translit-std=ISO (); ta, இலங்கை, Ilaṅkai, translit-std=ISO ()), formerly known as Ceylon, and officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is ...

Sri Lanka
n missionaries throughout the region.


Myth

The great Laotian epic, the , claims that Prince Thattaradtha founded the city when he left the legendary Lao kingdom of ''Muong Inthapatha Maha Nakhone'' because he was denied the throne in favor of his younger brother. Thattaradtha founded a city called ''Maha Thani Si Phan Phao'' on the western banks of the
Mekong River The Mekong or Mekong River is a trans-boundary river A transboundary river is a river that crosses at least one political border, either a border within a nation or an international boundary. Bangladesh has the highest number of these rive ...

Mekong River
; this city was said to have later become today's
Udon Thani 190px, Udon Thani International Airport Udon Thani ( th, อุดรธานี, ) is one of the four major cities of Isan (Nakhon Ratchasima, Khorat, Ubon Ratchathani, Udon Thani, and Khon Kaen known as the "big four of Isan"), Thailand's no ...
,
Thailand Thailand ( th, ประเทศไทย), historically known as Siam, () officially the Kingdom of Thailand, is a country in Southeast Asia. It is located at the centre of the Mainland Southeast Asia, Indochinese Peninsula, spanning , wi ...

Thailand
. One day, a seven-headed
Naga Naga or NAGA may refer to: Mythology * Nāga The Nāga (IAST The International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration (IAST) is a transliteration scheme that allows the lossless romanisation Romanization or romanisation, in linguistic ...
told Thattaradtha to start a new city on the east bank of the river opposite ''Maha Thani Si Phan Phao''. The prince called this city ''Chanthabuly Si Sattanakhanahud''; which was said to be the predecessor of modern Vientiane. Contrary to the Phra Lak Phra Lam, most historians believe Vientiane was an early settlement centered around a
Hindu Hindus (; ) are persons who regard themselves as culturally, ethnically, or religiously adhering to aspects of Hinduism Hinduism () is an Indian religion Indian religions, sometimes also termed Dharmic religions or Indic re ...

Hindu
temple, which the Pha That Luang would later replace. In the 11th and 12th centuries, the time when the
Lao__NOTOC__ Lao may refer to: Laos * Something of, from, or related to Laos, a country in Southeast Asia * Lao people (people from Laos, or of Lao descent) * The Lao language * Lao script, the writing system used to write the Lao language ** Lao (Un ...
and
Thai people Thai people ( th, ชาวไทย; ''endonym An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast ...
are believed to have entered
Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical United Nations geoscheme for Asia#South-eastern Asia, southeastern subregion of Asia, consisting of the regions ...

Southeast Asia
from
Southern China Northern China () and Southern China () are two approximate regions within China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is ...
, the few remaining Khmers in the area were either killed, removed, or assimilated into the Lao civilization, which would soon overtake the area.


Khmer domination

The earliest reference of the name Vientiane can be seen on a Vietnamese inscription of Duke
Đỗ Anh Vũ Đỗ Anh Vũ (Hán tự: wikt:杜, 杜wikt:英, 英wikt:武, 武) (1113–1158) was an official in the royal court of Lý Anh Tông, the List of emperors of the Lý Dynasty, sixth emperor of the Lý Dynasty. Considered the most prominent figure of ...
, dated 1159 during the Khmer-Viet conflict. The inscription says that in 1135, Văn Đan (Vientiane), a vassal of Zhenla (
Khmer Empire The Khmer Empire ( km, ចក្រភពខ្មែរ), or the Angkorian Empire ( km, ចក្រភពអង្គរ, link=no), are the terms that historians use to refer to Cambodia Cambodia (; also Kampuchea ; km, កម្ព ...

Khmer Empire
), invaded Nghe An, but was repelled by the Duke; the Duke led an army chased the invaders as far as Vũ Ôn? (unattested), and then returned with captives.*


Lan Xang

In 1354, when
Fa Ngum Somdetch Brhat-Anya Fa Ladhuraniya Sri Sadhana Kanayudha Maharaja Brhat Rajadharana Sri Chudhana Negara ( lo, ສົມເດັດ ພຣະບາດ ອັນຍາ ຟ້າ ລັດທຸຣັນຍາ ສຣີ ສັດຕະນາ ຄ ...
founded the kingdom of
Lan Xang existed as a unified kingdom from 1353 to 1707. For three and a half centuries, Lan Xang was one of the largest kingdoms in Southeast Asia. The meaning of the kingdom's name alludes to the power of the kingship and formidable war machine of the ea ...
. Vientiane became an important administrative city, even though it was not made the capital. King
Setthathirath Setthathirath ( lo, ເສດຖາທິຣາດ; 24 January 1534 – 1571) or Xaysettha ( lo, ໄຊເສດຖາ; th, ไชยเชษฐาธิราช ''Chaiyachetthathirat'') is considered one of the great leaders in Lao__NOTOC__ La ...
officially established it as the capital of Lan Xang in 1563, to avoid Burmese invasion. When Lan Xang fell apart in 1707, it became an independent
Kingdom of Vientiane Kingdom of Vientiane was formed in 1707 as a result of the split of the Kingdom of Lan Xang. The kingdom was a Burmese vassal from 1765 to 1824. It then became a Siamese vassal until 1828 when it was annexed by Siam. History In 1779, under t ...
. In 1779, it was conquered by the Siamese general Phraya Chakri and made a vassal of
Siam ) , royal_anthem = '' Sansoen Phra Barami''( en, "Glorify His prestige") , image_map = , map_caption = , capital = Bangkok Bangkok is the capital and most populous city of Thailand. It is known in Thai language, ...

Siam
. When King
Anouvong Chao Anouvong ( lo, ເຈົ້າອານຸວົງສ໌; th, เจ้าอนุวงศ์; ), or regnal name A regnal name, or reign name, is the name used by monarch A monarch is a head of stateWebster's II New College DictionarMon ...
raised an unsuccessful rebellion, it was obliterated by Siamese armies in 1827. The city was burned to the ground and was looted of nearly all Laotian artifacts, including Buddha statues and people. Vientiane was in great disrepair, depopulated and disappearing into the forest when the French arrived. It eventually passed to rule in 1893. It became the capital of the French protectorate of Laos in 1899. The French rebuilt the city and rebuilt or repaired Buddhist temples such as
Pha That Luang Pha That Luang ( lo, ວຽງຈັນ or ທາດຫຼວງ, 'Great Stupa') is a gold-covered large Buddhist stupa in the centre of the city of Vientiane, Laos. Since its initial establishment, suggested to be in the 3rd century AD, the stupa ...

Pha That Luang
,
Haw Phra Kaew Haw Phra Kaew ( lo, ຫໍພຣະແກ້ວ), also written as Ho Prakeo, Hor Pha Keo and other similar spellings, is a former temple in Vientiane Vientiane ( , ; lo, wikt:ວຽງຈັນ, ວຽງຈັນ, ) is the capital city, capit ...

Haw Phra Kaew
, and left many colonial buildings behind. During French rule, the Vietnamese were encouraged to migrate to Laos, which resulted in 53% of the population of Vientiane being Vietnamese in the year 1943.Stuart-Fox, Martin (1997).
A History of Laos
'. Cambridge University Press, p. 51. .
As late as 1945, the French drew up an ambitious plan to move massive Vietnamese population to three key areas, i.e. the Vientiane Plain, Savannakhet region,
Bolaven Plateau The Bolaven Plateau is an elevated region in southern Laos. Most of the plateau is located within Champasak Province of Laos, though the edges of the plateau are also located in Salavan, Sekong and Attapeu Provinces. It is located between ...

Bolaven Plateau
, which was only discarded by the Japanese invasion of Indochina. If this plan had been implemented, according to
Martin Stuart-Fox Martin Stuart-Fox (born 1939) is a retired Australian professor and journalist who writes about the history of Southeast Asia, primarily Laos. In 1963 he was a contributor for the United Press International in Laos. In 1965 he moved to Vietnam and ...
, the Lao might well have lost control over their own country. During
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, Vientiane fell with little resistance and was occupied by Japanese forces, under the command of Sako Masanori. On 9 March 1945 French paratroopers arrived, and reoccupied the city on 24 April 1945.Far East and Australasia 2003 – Google Books
/ref> As the
Laotian Civil War The Laotian Civil War (1959–1975) was a civil war A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war between organized groups within the same Sovereign state, state (or country). The aim of one side may be to take c ...
broke out between the
Royal Lao Government 200px, Pre-1975 Royal Lao flag The Royal Lao Government was the ruling authority in the Kingdom of Laos The Kingdom of Laos was a constitutional monarchy A constitutional monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch exercises au ...
and the
Pathet Lao The Pathet Lao ( lo, ປະເທດລາວ , national_anthem = "Pheng Xat Lao") , image_map = , map_caption = , capital = Vientiane , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , official_languages = Lao language, Lao , recogni ...
, Vientiane became unstable. In August 1960,
Kong Le Captain (later Major General) Kong Le (Laotian language, Lao: ກອງແລ; 6 March 1934 – 17 January 2014) was a paratrooper in the Royal Lao Army. He led the premier unit of the Royal Lao Army, ''2ème bataillon de parachutistes'' (Parachu ...
seized the capital and insisted that
Souvanna Phouma Prince Souvanna Phouma (; 7 October 1901 – 10 January 1984) was the leader of the neutralist faction and Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Laos several times (1951–1954, 1956–1958, 1960, and 1962–1975). Early life Souvanna Phouma was the s ...
become prime minister. In mid-December,
Phoumi NosavanMajor General Phoumi Nosavan (27 January 1920 – 1985)Stuart-Fox, pp. 258–259. was a military strongman who was prominent in the history of the Kingdom of Laos; at times, he dominated its political life to the point of being a virtual dictator. H ...
then seized the capital, overthrew the Phouma Government, and installed
Boun Oum Prince Boun Oum (also Prince Boun Oum Na Champassak; lo, ບຸນອຸ້ມ ນະ ຈຳປາສັກ; th, บุญอุ้ม ณ จัมปาศักดิ์; ; 2 December 1912 – 17 March 1980) was the son of King Ratsadanay ...
as prime minister. In mid-1975, Pathet Lao troops moved towards the city and Americans began evacuating the capital. On 23 August 1975, a contingent of 50 Pathet Lao women symbolically liberated the city. On 2 December 1975, the
communist party A communist party is a political party A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a particular country's elections. It is common for the members of a party to hold similar ideas about politics, and part ...
of the
Pathet Lao The Pathet Lao ( lo, ປະເທດລາວ , national_anthem = "Pheng Xat Lao") , image_map = , map_caption = , capital = Vientiane , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , official_languages = Lao language, Lao , recogni ...
took over Vientiane, defeated the
Kingdom of Laos The Kingdom of Laos was a constitutional monarchy A constitutional monarchy, parliamentary monarchy, or democratic monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch exercises his authority in accordance with a constitution and is not alo ...
, and renamed the country the Lao People's Democratic Republic, which ended the
Laotian Civil War The Laotian Civil War (1959–1975) was a civil war A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war between organized groups within the same Sovereign state, state (or country). The aim of one side may be to take c ...
. The next day, an
Insurgency in Laos The insurgency in Laos was a sporadic military conflict between the Lao People's Army, and Vietnam People's Army , image_map = , map_caption = , capital = Hanoi , coordinates ...
began in the jungle, with the Pathet Lao fighting factions of Hmong and royalists. Vientiane was the host of the incident-free
2009 Southeast Asian Games ) , Nations participating = 11 , Athletes participating = 3100 , Events = 372 in 25 sports , Opening ceremony = 9 December , Closing ceremony = 18 December , Officially opened by = Choummaly Sayasone , Athlete's ...
. Eighteen competitions were dropped from the previous games held in Thailand, due to Laos' landlocked borders and the lack of adequate facilities in Vientiane.


Geography and climate


Geography

Vientiane is on a bend of the
Mekong The Mekong or Mekong River is a trans-boundary river A transboundary river is a river that crosses at least one political border, either a border within a nation or an international boundary. Bangladesh has the highest number of these river ...

Mekong
River, at which point it forms the border with
Thailand Thailand ( th, ประเทศไทย), historically known as Siam, () officially the Kingdom of Thailand, is a country in Southeast Asia. It is located at the centre of the Mainland Southeast Asia, Indochinese Peninsula, spanning , wi ...

Thailand
.


Climate

Vientiane features a
tropical savanna climate Tropical savanna climate or tropical wet and dry climate is a type of climate Climate is the long-term pattern of weather Weather is the state of the atmosphere An atmosphere (from the greek words ἀτμός ''(atmos)'', meanin ...
(
Köppen Köppen is a German surname. Notable people with the surname include: * Bernd Köppen (born 1951), German pianist and composer * Carl Köppen (1833-1907), German military advisor in Meiji (era), Meiji era Japan * Edlef Köppen (1893–1939), Germa ...
''Aw'') with a distinct
wet season The wet season (sometimes called the rainy season) is the time of year when most of a region's average annual rainfall Rain is liquid water in the form of droplet Raindrops in a plant. A drop or droplet is a small column of liquid ...
and a
dry season The dry season is a yearly period of low rainfall, especially in the tropics The tropics are the region of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of ...
. Vientiane's dry season spans from November through March. April marks the onset of the wet season which in Vientiane lasts about seven months. Vientiane tends to be very hot and humid throughout the course of the year, though temperatures in the city tend to be somewhat cooler during the dry season than the wet season.


Tourism

Although still a small city, the capital attracts many tourists. The city contains many temples and Buddhist monuments. A popular attraction for foreign visitors is
Pha That Luang Pha That Luang ( lo, ວຽງຈັນ or ທາດຫຼວງ, 'Great Stupa') is a gold-covered large Buddhist stupa in the centre of the city of Vientiane, Laos. Since its initial establishment, suggested to be in the 3rd century AD, the stupa ...

Pha That Luang
, an important national cultural monument of Laos and one of its best known
stupa A stupa ( sa, स्तूप, lit=heap, ) is a mound-like or hemispherical structure containing relics.(such as ''śarīra'' – typically the remains of Bhikkhu, Buddhist monks or Bhikkhuni, nuns) that is used as a place of meditation. A rel ...

stupa
s. It was originally built in 1566 by King
Setthathirath Setthathirath ( lo, ເສດຖາທິຣາດ; 24 January 1534 – 1571) or Xaysettha ( lo, ໄຊເສດຖາ; th, ไชยเชษฐาธิราช ''Chaiyachetthathirat'') is considered one of the great leaders in Lao__NOTOC__ La ...
and was restored in 1953. The golden stupa is 45 metres tall and is believed to contain a relic of the Buddha.Lao National Tourism Administration – Tourist Sites in Vientiane Capital
Another site that is also popular amongst tourists is . The temple was built on the ruins of a Khmer Hindu shrine, the remains of which can be seen behind the ordination hall. It was built in 1563 and is believed to be guarded by the spirit of a local girl, Nang Si. Legend tells that Nang Si, who was pregnant at the time, leapt to her death as a sacrifice, just as the pillar was being lowered into the hole. In front of the temple stands a statue of King
Sisavang Vong Sisavang Phoulivong (or Sisavangvong, lo, ພຣະບາທສົມເດັຈພຣະເຈົ້າມະຫາຊີວິຕສີສວ່າງວົງສ໌) (14 July 1885 – 29 October 1959) was king of the Kingdom of Luang Phr ...

Sisavang Vong
. The memorial monument, , built between 1957 and 1968, is perhaps the most prominent landmark in the city. While the
Arc de Triomphe The Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile (, , ; ) is one of the most famous monuments in Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated p ...

Arc de Triomphe
in
Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated population of 2,175,601 residents , in an area of more than . Since the 17th century, Paris ha ...

Paris
inspired the architecture, the design incorporates typical Lao motifs including Kinnari, a mythical bird woman. Energetic visitors can climb to the top of the monument for a panoramic view of the city.
Buddha Park Buddha Park, also known as Xieng Khuan (as well as other variations of the spelling), is a sculpture garden, sculpture park 25 km southeast from Vientiane, Laos in a meadow by the Mekong, Mekong River. Although it is not a temple (''Wat''), it may ...

Buddha Park
was built in 1958 by
Luang Pu Bunleua Sulilat Bunleua Sulilat (June 7, 1932 – August 10, 1996; often referred to as Luang Pu Bunleua Sulilat; th, หลวงปู่บุญเหลือ สุรีรัตน์, , ; numerous variants of the spelling exist in Western languages: ...
and contains a collection of Buddhist and Hindu sculptures, scattered amongst gardens and trees. The park is 28 kilometres south of Vientiane at the edge of the
Mekong River The Mekong or Mekong River is a trans-boundary river A transboundary river is a river that crosses at least one political border, either a border within a nation or an international boundary. Bangladesh has the highest number of these rive ...

Mekong River
. Vientiane is home to one of the three bowling alleys in Laos (the other two are in
Luang Prabang Luang Phabang, (Lao language, Lao: wikt:ຫລວງພະບາງ, ຫລວງພະບາງ/wikt:ຫຼວງພະບາງ, ຫຼວງພະບາງ) or ''Louangphabang'' (pronounced ), commonly Transliteration, transliterated into We ...

Luang Prabang
and
Pakse Pakse (or ''Pakxe''; : ''Paksé''; : ປາກເຊ 'mouth of the river'; th, ปากเซ), is the capital and most populous city of the southern province of , making it the second most populous city in Laos. At the confluence of the and ...

Pakse
). Other sites include: *
Haw Phra Kaew Haw Phra Kaew ( lo, ຫໍພຣະແກ້ວ), also written as Ho Prakeo, Hor Pha Keo and other similar spellings, is a former temple in Vientiane Vientiane ( , ; lo, wikt:ວຽງຈັນ, ວຽງຈັນ, ) is the capital city, capit ...

Haw Phra Kaew
, former temple, now a museum and small shops * * Kaysone Phomvihane Museum * Talat Sao Morning market * , large stupa * Wat Ong Teu Mahawihan, a Buddhist monastery * Wat Sri Chomphu Ong Tue, a Buddhist temple *
Wat Si Saket 250px, Wat Si Saket Wat Si Saket ( lo, ວັດສີສະເກດ) is a Buddhist Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of designated religious behaviour, behaviors ...

Wat Si Saket
, Buddhist wat * Wat Sok Pa Luang, a Buddhist temple * Settha Palace Hotel, established 1932 * The Sanjiang Market


Colleges and universities

The
National University of Laos The National University of Laos (NUOL) is a university in Vientiane, the capital of Laos. Founded in 1996, with departments brought in from other existing colleges, it is the only national university in the country. The NUOL accepts students from a ...
, one of three universities in the country, is in Vientiane.


Broadcasting

* Lao National Radio has a large mediumwave transmitter with a 277-metre guyed mast at 18° 20' 33"N, 102° 27' 01"E. *
China Radio International China Radio International (CRI) is the State media, state-owned international radio broadcaster of China. It is currently headquartered in the Babaoshan area of Beijing's Shijingshan District. It was founded on December 3, 1941, as Radio Pekin ...

China Radio International
(CRI) FM 93.0.


Economy

Vientiane is the driving force behind economic change in Laos. In recent years, the city has experienced rapid economic growth from foreign investment. In 2011, the
stock exchange A stock exchange, securities exchange, or bourse is an exchange Exchange may refer to: Places United States * Exchange, Indiana Exchange is an Unincorporated area, unincorporated community in Green Township, Morgan County, Indiana, Green To ...
opened with two listed company stocks, with the cooperation of
South Korea South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea (ROK), is a country in East Asia, constituting the southern part of the Korea, Korean Peninsula and sharing a Korean Demilitarized Zone, land border with North Korea. Its western border is for ...

South Korea
.


Transportation


Within Laos

There are regular
bus A bus (contracted from omnibus, with variants multibus, motorbus, autobus, etc.) is a road vehicle A vehicle (from la, vehiculum) is a machine A machine is a man-made device that uses power to apply forces and control movement t ...

bus
services connecting Vientiane Bus Station with the rest of the country. In Vientiane, regular bus services around the city are provided by Vientiane Capital State Bus Enterprise.


From Thailand

The
First Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge First or 1st is the ordinal form of the number 1 (number), one (#1). First or 1st may also refer to: *World record, specifically the first instance of a particular achievement Arts and media Music * 1$T, American rapper, singer-songwriter, DJ, ...
, built in the 1990s, crosses the river 18 kilometres downstream of the city of
Nong Khai Nong Khai ( th, เทศบาลเมืองหนองคาย; 'Nong Khai Town' or 'Nong Khai') is a city in northeast Thailand. It is the capital of Nong Khai Province. Nong Khai city is administered as Mueang Nong Khai District. Nong ...

Nong Khai
in Thailand, and is the major crossing between the two countries. The official name of the bridge was changed in 2007 by the addition of "First", after the Second Friendship Bridge linking Mukdahan in Thailand with
Savannakhet Savannakhet (ສະຫວັນນະເຂດ), officially named Kaysone Phomvihane ( lo, ໄກສອນ ພົມວິຫານ; th, ไกสอน พมวิหาน) since 2005 and previously known as ''Khanthaboury'' (ຄັນທະ ...
in Laos was opened early in 2007. A
metre gauge Metre-gauge railways are narrow-gauge railway A narrow-gauge railway (narrow-gauge railroad in the US) is a railway with a track gauge narrower than standard-gauge railway, standard . Most narrow-gauge railways are between and . Since narrow ...
railway link over the bridge was formally inaugurated on 5 March 2009, ending at Thanaleng Railway Station, in Dongphosy village (
Vientiane Prefecture Vientiane (or ''Viengchan'', Also known as ''Vientiane Prefecture'' or ''Vientiane Municipality'') (Lao alphabet, Lao: ນະຄອນຫຼວງວຽງຈັນ, ''Nakhônlouang ViangChan'') is a prefecture of Laos, in the northwest Laos. ...
), 20 km east of Vientiane. As of November 2010, Lao officials plan to convert the station into a rail cargo terminal for
freight trains In economics Economics () is a social science Social science is the Branches of science, branch of science devoted to the study of society, societies and the Social relation, relationships among individuals within those soci ...
, allowing cargo to be transported from Bangkok into Laos at a lower cost than would be possible with road transport.


To Thailand

Daily non-stop bus services run between Vientiane and Nong Khai, Udon Thani, and Khon Kaen.


From China

The
Boten–Vientiane railway The Boten–Vientiane railway (often referred to as the China–Laos railway) is a electrified railway under construction in Laos, between the capital Vientiane and the small town of Boten on the border with China. It is the most expensive and l ...
(sometimes referred to as the ''China–Laos railway'' or ''Laos–China railway'') is an electrified railway in
Laos , national_anthem = "Pheng Xat Lao "Pheng Sat Lāo" () is the national anthem A national anthem is a song that officially symbolizes a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often r ...

Laos
, running between the capital Vientiane and the town of
Boten Boten is a town in Laos , national_anthem = " Pheng Xat Lao") , image_map = , map_caption = , capital = Vientiane , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , official_languages = Lao language, Lao , recognised_languages = French la ...
on the border with
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...

China
. The line was officially opened on 3 December 2021.


By air

Vientiane is served by Wattay International Airport with international connections to other Asian countries.
Lao Airlines Lao Airlines State Enterprise
."
Luang Prabang Luang Phabang, (Lao language, Lao: wikt:ຫລວງພະບາງ, ຫລວງພະບາງ/wikt:ຫຼວງພະບາງ, ຫຼວງພະບາງ) or ''Louangphabang'' (pronounced ), commonly Transliteration, transliterated into We ...

Luang Prabang
, plus a few flights weekly to other local destinations). In Thailand,
Udon Thani International Airport : ''For the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a W ...
, one of Wattay's main connections, is less than 90 km distant.


Healthcare

The "Centre Medical de l'Ambassade de France" is available to the foreign community in Laos. The Mahosot Hospital is an important local hospital in treating and researching diseases and is connected with the University of Oxford. In 2011 the Alliance Clinic opened near the airport, with a connection to Thai hospitals. The Setthathirat International Clinic has foreign doctors. A free, 24/7 ambulance service is provided by Vientiane Rescue, a volunteer-run rescue service established in 2010.


See also

*
Kingdom of Vientiane Kingdom of Vientiane was formed in 1707 as a result of the split of the Kingdom of Lan Xang. The kingdom was a Burmese vassal from 1765 to 1824. It then became a Siamese vassal until 1828 when it was annexed by Siam. History In 1779, under t ...
* National Library of Laos * Auguste Pavie * Vat Yotkeo


References


Further reading

* Askew, Marc, William Stewart Logan, and Colin Long. ''Vientiane: Transformations of a Lao Landscape''. London: Routledge, 2007. * Sharifi et al., ''Can master planning control and regulate urban growth in Vientiane, Laos?''. Landscape and Urban Planning, 2014
DOI: 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2014.07.014
* Flores, Penelope V. ''Good-Bye, Vientiane: Untold Stories of Filipinos in Laos''. San Francisco, CA: Philippine American Writers and Artists, Inc, 2005. * Renaut, Thomas, and Arnaud Dubus. ''Eternal Vientiane''. City heritage. Hong Kong: Published by Fortune Image Ltd. for Les Editions d'Indochine, 1995. * Schrama, Ilse, and Birgit Schrama. ''Buddhist Temple Life in Laos: Wat Sok Pa Luang''. Bangkok: Orchid Press, 2006. * Women's International Group Laos. ''Vientiane Guide''. Vientiane: Women's International Group, 1993.


External links

* {{Authority control Vientiane, Capitals in Asia Districts of Laos Populated places in Vientiane Province Laos–Thailand border crossings 16th century in Lan Xang 17th century in Lan Xang 18th century in Vientiane 19th century in Vientiane Populated places in Laos 9th-century establishments in Asia Populated places established in 1560