Despite its size, the diminutive capital has plenty to charm visitors: peaceful temples, beautiful river views and cozy restaurants. Watching the sunset over the Mekong River at one of Vientiane's many waterfront bars or cafes is a popular evening pursuit and a fitting introduction to a country that proudly proclaims its relaxed pace and laid-back attitude.
The Presidential Palace stands at the end of a wide, tree-lined street, with its back facing the Mekong River
Patuxai, Vientiane's version of the Arc de Triomphe, was built in 1969 to honor those who died in the pre-revolutionary wars
Photographers - armed with digital cameras and portable printers - sell photos to tourists posing in front of Patuxai