Tired of the frenetic speed of Thailand but still want to be near civilization? Look no further than Vientiane, the slowest capital city you're likely to venture upon. A short river crossing away from Thailand, Vientiane rests snugly along the Mekong river, the source of it's strangely magnetic pull. There's something about watching the sunset from a rooftop bar overlooking the river, while large groups gather by the flagpoles for their evening exercise and the tents for the night market begin to light up and draw crowds, that makes you just sort of sigh and think about the good things in life.
Vientiane, and indeed Laos, is among the poorer places you can go and still have conveniences such as supermarkets and reliable internet. The roads are dusty and pothole riddled and the buildings are flat and often dilapidated. But the smiles are warm and the charm is infatuating, its character blossoming to those willing to pay attention to it. And it's culinary offerings are rich and diverse, with some of the best food of many types to be found along its streets.
Located on the banks of the Mekong River near the border with Thailand, Vientiane is often overlooked as a coworking destination. Admittedly the city feels fairly small and lacks variety compared to nearby locations like Chiang Mai, but there's a good little selection of French style cafes, bars and local restaurants where you can get a delicious plate of Laab. If you head away from the main "foreigner area" towards Patuxai - Vientiane's replica of the Arc de Triomphe - and walk along the wide tree-lined boulevards, you'll get a glimpse of a more peaceful side of the city.
Fun fact: the Lao eat more sticky rice than any other people in the world.
It is a unique flavor in the Southeast Asian landscape, one sure to offer any nomads a great reason to settle in for a while and relax by the river.
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