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Moving to Vientiane
What to know if you're moving to Vientiane
As the capital city of Laos, Vientiane has plenty to offer anybody. Situated on the banks of the Mekong River and bordering Thailand, the city boasts a rich cultural history and a variety of attractions for expats, with plenty of opportunities to shop, work and experience the culture of the city.
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Relocating to Vientiane
Housing in Vientiane varies from urban apartments in the central district to village townhouses in the suburbs, making it a viable choice regardless of what you are looking for.
Vientiane is separated into nine districts and is home to approximately 760,000 people. It is the economic center of Laos, with the central district of Chantabouly containing the majority of the country’s hotels, restaurants, government offices and financial institutions. A bustling metropolis, public transportation varies from district to district, although most central institutions are accessible by foot.
The official currency of the city is the Laos Kip. As the most densely populated area of Laos, the combination of cultural vibrancy, the low cost of living and plentiful work opportunities on offer in Vientiane make it an attractive proposition for increasing numbers of expats.
There are a plethora of social activities to partake in within the city, which boasts swimming pools, sports clubs, and bustling nightlife downtown with a wide choice of bars, restaurants, karaoke public houses and nightclubs, many of which bear a distinct French influence as a reflection of the colonial past of the city.
The pace of life on Vientiane’s outskirts is slightly more relaxed and homely, making it an ideal choice for expatriates moving to Vientiane who are seeking a sedate and peaceful day-to-day existence in contrast with the hustle and bustle of the inner city life.
The Climate in Vientiane
Vientiane is home to a tropical climate typical of the continent, which is separated into two distinct monsoon and dry seasons. The dry season runs from November until late March/early April, when the monsoon season occurs, which lasts for approximately seven months. The city is generally hot and humid for the majority of the year, with peak temperatures of around 34°C.
During the dry season temperatures are somewhat cooler, dipping to lows of around 2.5°C in the winter months. Overall, the city receives an average rainfall of 1,660 inches over the course of the year, compared with 2,434 hours of sunshine and an average humidity of 75 percent.
Finding Accommodation in Vientiane
There are numerous ways for expatriates to find accommodation in Vientiane. The Vientiane Times is a government-owned, English-language daily newspaper that features property rental and sale listings, and there are a number of estate agencies offering everything from luxury penthouses to the most basic of apartments.
Types of accommodation vary from district to district, with the central areas of the city boasting various apartments and hotels clustered near the Mekong River and Airport Road. The outer districts are home to village homesteads and farmlands. There are numerous online resources dedicated to helping those considering a move to Vientiane to find the accommodation best suited to their needs.
Whether you are moving abroad for the first time or relocated multiple times before, the process raises many questions. Our complete guide to relocation will ease your doubts along the way, from the initial preparations to how to negotiate a relocation package, we help you GO! prepared with the key answers.