Start your full day of sightseeing with hotel pickup in Vientiane. Your first stop is the city’s oldest monastery, Vat Si Saket, which features remarkable frescoes and more than 6,000 Buddha images. At nearby Ho Phra Keo, a former royal temple that once housed the Emerald Buddha of Bangkok, you’ll find Buddhist art and sculpture on display.
Make a brief stop at Vat Si Muang before a restaurant lunch. Then continue on to Pha That Luang with its golden stupa, the most revered shrine in Laos. Your guide points out architectural features that echo images of an elongated lotus bud. Up next is Victory Gate, also known as Patouxay. Inspired by the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, it incorporates typical Lao motifs including a mythical bird-woman. Climb the top of the monument for panoramic views (entrance fee not included).
Proceed to That Dam (Black Stupa) and walk to the nearby Nam Phou market in the town center. Explore the sights and sounds on foot and walk alongside the banks of the mighty Mekong before return transport to your hotel.