Vientiane is an extremely clean and organized Southeast Asian city and the downtown area is concise and lays along the river. The majority of Nick and I’s time spent in Vientiane was biking to and from the Myanmar and Indian Embassies. It was extremely easy to navigate, however there aren’t too many crucial attractions to see. Some of our favorite spots included:
-The Night Market, this was the cleanest night market I’ve been to thus far. It was mostly geared toward locals, however there were some merchants selling interesting goods, like jewelry and not for profit metalware (ex: spoons made from recycled metal of bombs and aircrafts during the American secret war).
-Dakha Restaurant, cheap and flavorful Indian food.
-Scandinavian Bakery, this bakery has some delicious and affordable sweets and has the best wifi in the city (although not reliable enough to download the season finale of West World).
-Benoni Cafe, stop here to splurge on some comfort breakfast food. Try the oatmeal, cappuccino, or lox.
-Makphet, this restaurant helps disadvantage youth and provides a delicious local menu.
Vang Vieng is a bummer. It’s made for drunk foreigners who are looking to get wasted and tube down a river. Although the majority of bars have been shut down after 27 people died in 2011, the party continues. Nick and I spent 1 full day here, climbing and tubing. The most unfortunate part of Vang Vieng was that the tubing was gorgeous and could be amazing if not for the dirty party bars lining the river. I understand why tourists flock to this place as the scenery is refreshing. Nevertheless, traveling is always better than a day at work and it was relaxing as well as a good look into how many people spend their time in Southeast Asia.