Vientiane (Vieng Chan) is the capital of Laos.
Compared to the hectic, bustling capitals in other Southeast Asia countries, Vientiane's deliciously relaxing atmosphere makes it feel like the small town it is. After you've done the round of temples, the best thing to do here has always been to wander down to the riverside, kick back with a cold Beerlao - the Lao national beer - and watch the sun set over the Mekong.
Of course, the booming tourism industry is changing this by slowly but surely bringing the excesses of Thailand to this formerly sleepy city. It has also become famous for bedbugs.