Set on the Mekong River, the former royal capital of Laos is more like a village than a city, its traffic largely two-wheeled and often unmotorized.
Buddhism is the dominant religion, and more than two dozen temples are home to around a thousand monks. Rise at dawn to watch them pass by, taking food offered by the community, their only meal of the day.
The city is pleasantly warm all year round, and much of life is lived outdoors. The night market is a daily highlight. Take a trip on a long-tailed boat up the river to find further Buddhist sites, including the Pak Ou Caves