Discover the hidden charms of Vientiane, translated as 'the city of sandalwood.' Vientiane is one of the quietest capital cities in the world, different from the hustle and bustle of its neighbors. With a private guide you'll visit the Buddha Park, also known as Xieng Khuan, with more than 200 Buddhist and Hindu statues. Also stop by the temples of Wat Si Saket, Wat Ho Phra Keo, Wat Si Muang, and more.
You will be picked up at your hotel in Vientiane in the morning to begin your private tour at the serene Wat Si Saket, the only temple left intact after the Siamese (Thai) invasion of 1828. It is one of the most beautiful temples in the capital, and its breezy teak-covered hallways are filled with thousands of miniature Buddha statues.Continue on to the nearby Wat Ho Phra Keo. As a religious museum, the temple displays a collection of both Lao and Khmer works of art. Also stop by the nearby Presidential Palace and appreciate the building from outside (going inside is not permitted). Get a good glimpse into the town’s colonial past as this building formerly served as the French governor’s palace. Visit Wat Si Muang, one of the most popular and venerated temples in Vientiane. Then move on to the Patuxai monument (Victory Gate), Laos’ version of the Arc de Triomphe, where you can climb the stairs to the roof for sweeping panoramic views of the city. Next, your tour takes you to That Luang, the holiest site in Laos. Constructed by King Setthethirat in the 16th century, the temple is resplendent as the sun shines upon its towering golden spire.
Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant and then take a 45-minute drive to the Buddha Park. En route make a brief stop and take photos of the Friendship Bridge, built by the Australian government in 1994, which links Laos and Thailand.On arrival, take a stroll around the Buddha Park (Xieng Khuan), filled with more than 200 Buddhist and Hindu statues. The tranquil setting along the Mekong River is a contrast to the slightly eccentric sculptures built in 1958 by a Laos shaman. The concrete sculptures are unique and intriguing, sitting majestically in the peaceful park. Driving back to Vientiane, you'll stop by the Lao Disabled Women's Development Centre, which aims to bring knowledge and skills to disabled women so that they can become self-sufficient and productive members of the community. The center focuses its efforts on helping people with disabilities gain independence and self confidence. A visit to the center provides you with the opportunity to talk to these women and to observe their skill at creating handicrafts such as hand-made paper. End your full-day tour of the capital along the banks of the Mekong River as the sun begins to set. Stroll along the river, stop to enjoy a cold drink, or sample a snack from one of the many local food stalls, if you like, before being transferred back to your hotel.