Located on the northeastern bank of the Mekong River, Vientiane is the capital of Laos.
With less than a million inhabitants, Vientiane is the second smallest capital in Southeast Asia and has a laid-back atmosphere that is atypical of capitals all over the world. Oftentimes, many a travellers can be seen taking a break along the riverside with a cold beer in hand as they take in the sunset. Equally common are devotees offering gifts and being blessed by Buddhist monks.
In Vientiane's architecture, one can identify the historical influence of the French and Thai, with villas that were built during colonial times and Thai-inspired buildings dotting the city. There are also remnants of Vientiane's pre-colonial history, namely the two more important temples Vat That Luang and Hor Phra Keo, which were from the 16th century when King Setthathirat made Vientiane the capital of the Kingdom of Lane Xang.