Vientiane Itineraries: Waltzing Down Avenue Lane Xang (Northern Circuit)

Named after the Lao kingdom of Lan Xang which was one the largest empires in the Southeast Asian region for more than 350 years, Avenue Lane Xang is the most prominent boulevard cutting through the heart of Vientiane’s city centre with numerous tourist attractions on its two flanks. As a starter to explore this Laotian capital, I would recommend that you take a nice stroll down this path to admire some of Vientiane’s most popular tourist attractions.

Patuxai Victory Monument Opening Hours: 0800h – 1630h (Mon – Fri), 0800h – 1700h (Sat, Sun) Entrance Fee: LAK 3,000 (USD 0.35)
Embodying the epitome of the fusion of French colonial architecture with a tinge of traditional Lao art, the Patuxai Victory Monument is possibly the most prominent structure in the city centre of Vientiane. Inspired by the design of its lookalike in Paris, the Arc de Triomphe, this piece of architectural genius also depicts elements of Lao culture including Hindu deities like Vishnu and Buddhist mythological creatu…

Getting Around Vientiane - Wheels or Heels?

While Vientiane certainly gives me the first impression of being one of the most relaxed capital cities in the world, it has been making a concerted effort to achieve urban development. Its gradual improvement and establishment of its public transportation system is testament to this, benefitting both locals and travellers alike. It was certainly a breeze trying to move around this capital sitting on the Laos-Thailand border for me, and I am sure it will be for you too!

Getting to the City Centre 
If you are planning to take a flight to enter the country via Vientiane, you may wish to consider the new route which SilkAir has inaugurated in recent years. A loop service which runs 3 times a week, the flight route starts in Singapore and has layovers in Vientiane and Luang Prabang before heading back to Singapore. Since the backpacker’s circuit which I was planning to embark starts in Vientiane and ends in Luang Prabang, this was a perfect fit for my itinerary with direct flights on both…

Welcome to Laos - the Mysterious Land of a Million Elephants!

After concluding our miniseries on Hanoi, I will now be sharing with you about a rather mysterious nation which has been overshadowed by its neighbours in terms of numerous aspects such as tourism, urban development and economic growth. I had the opportunity to embark on the well-travelled backpacker circuit along the northern region of Laos in January – traversing the territories from Vientiane to Luang Prabang via the quaint village of Vang Vieng

Despite being within close geographical proximity, the thought of visiting this country has never crossed the minds of many Singaporeans who would rather visit other more established cities like Bangkok and Hanoi. By sharing about my little trip to the Land of a Million Elephants, I hope to inspire more like-minded travellers to give this exotic destination a chance and explore Laos while it still retains its authentic feel. Its amicable residents are also one of the reasons why so many tourists have crowned this country as their favouri…

Hanoi Itineraries: Where East Meets West - A Cultural Melting Pot (Southern Circuit)

Heading south from the Old Quarter will lead you to another popular district – the French Quarter which boasts uptown funk and colonial architectural remains from the days of colonial rule by the French. You will be able to find upmarket dining and shopping options here which resembles Orchard Road. While it potentially offers you a break from the rest of the hectic Hanoi capital, I prefer the kampong vibe of the Old Quarter, as it was quainter and more unique an experience for me personally.

Hanoi Opera House

Certainly one of the more Instagrammable landmarks in Hanoi, the Opera House was built more than a century ago and was modelled after the Palais Garnier in Paris.

Standing on the August Revolution Square, the Opera House hosts a wide variety of concerts from classical performances to theatrical shows. Stepping into the building and admiring its Western-inspired architecture seemingly whizzes you to Europe. You may like to check out the timetables for a concert of your preference…