The 3rd International Conference on Gross National Happiness Conference 2007, Nongkhai & Bangkok, Thailand

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Vientiane, capital of Laos is Asia's biggest village. Busy and hectic in comparison to the rest of the country, it is quiet compared with any other city in Asia. Vientiane, as all of Lao's major cities, is situated on the Mekong river which forms the lifeline of the country. Vientiane is the hub for all travel in the country. The city has a population of 450,000, about 10% of the country.
Vientiane is a city full of surprises. Here you can find fields of rice and vegetables, agriculture hidden behind tree lined avenues. French Colonial architecture sits next to gilded temples. Freshly baked French bread is served next to shops selling noodle soup.
There is little modern in Vientiane. Old French colonial houses are being restored as offices and as restaurants and hotels. There are only a handful of modern buildings which sometimes look remarkably out of place in this quiet capital.

How to get there

The Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge, built in the 1990s, crosses the river a few miles downstream of the city to Nong Khai in Thailand, and is the major crossing between the two countries. Rails for an international railway link run on to the bridge, but service terminates several kilometers south of the river on the Thai side.

Vientiane is served by the Wattay International Airport.

  • Visit Laos Official Web
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