Vientiane (Lao: ວຽງຈັນ) is the capital city of Laos and the city with the largest number of people. It is in the Mekong Valley and over two hundred thousand people live in its central area.
It is on the Laos-Thailand border, being kept apart by the Mekong River. In other words, if one crossed the river from Vientiane, he/she would enter Thailand. The city is close to the First Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge, an bridge that is also a border crossing and port between Thailand and Laos.
Even though it is the country's most populated city, many travelers to the city have said that Vientiane feels like a small town.
Popular tourist sites of the city include the Patuxai Monument, the Lao Textile Museum, the Pha That Luang stupa, the Buddha Park, and Haw Phra Kaew.
The city has one of three universities in the entire country, the National University of Laos.
Despite being the country's most populated city, many international companies do not exist in Laos. There is no McDonald's, Burger King, KFC, 7-Eleven, or Grab throughout the entire country. However, international companies like Big C, Chester's Chicken, and Texas Chicken do exist in Vientiane. Starbucks opened its first store in the country at the Parkson Mall in 2022.