Curled around a bend of the Mekong with the Thai town of Nong Khai on the opposite bank, the capital of Laos is also its only truly large city. It is the showcase for a country undergoing change and one embracing modern aspirations. However, Vientiane remains one of the last Asian capitals that can be explored in relaxed fashion on foot beneath the frangipane trees lining its streets. This city full of charm has as its most famous backdrop the Pha That Luang temple, the country's most important emblem.
©O. Stadler/imageBROKER/age fotostockVientiane