What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?
They say that Vientiane is a horrible place to visit but a nice place to live. What it lacks in sights, it makes up for in a relaxed, charming lifestyle. Enjoying a Beer Lao along the Mekong as the sun goes down is a simple pleasure but a pleasant memory. Vientiane is also a good base for exploring northern Thailand. If you need a little Western indulgence, Starbucks and McDonalds are only an hour away! - Jun 2020
Sitting along the Mekong and watching the world go by is a lot of fun. Biking on Sundays, when there is less traffic, is also fun. - Oct 2018
Sitting at a restaurant on the Mekong at sunset. Boat cruise on the Nam Ou. Explore the Kong Lor caves, drive to see the many beautiful waterfalls just outside of Vientiane. Visit the Plain of Jars, learn about silkworms and making natural dyes at Mulberry farm. the night markets in Luang Prabang and in Vientiane. Get up early one morning and give alms to the monks. Head south and visit the 4000 islands, go to Champasak and vistWat Phou. - Jan 2014