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Learn more about the Vientiane apartment market through trends and average prices.
With a population of over 800,000 people, the capital of Laos, Vientiane, is the most populous city in the country. Compared to other busy capitals in other Southeast Asian countries, this former French trading post has a relaxing and peaceful atmosphere that makes it feel like a small town.
In recent years, the country has become a popular tourist destination. It attracted more than 1.5 million visitors last year. Amid the slick luxury hotels and nightclubs, visitors can still find amazing Buddhist temples, French colonial buildings, and riverfronts with a calming view. Besides tourists, the city has also seen an influx of expats who want to enjoy a laidback and slow-paced lifestyle.
There are three types of apartments in Vientiane, including standard apartment, high-end apartment, and serviced apartment.
Standard apartments come with basic amenities, usually only parking spaces for renters. They are the least expensive types. High-end apartments are usually more modern and provide more amenities for the residents, such as parking spaces and 24-hour security systems. There are also high-end apartments in the city with swimming pools and fitness centers.
Serviced apartments are the most expensive and luxurious types. They are fully furnished and provide a wide range of upscale amenities and services that allow renters to live a convenient lifestyle, such as gyms, swimming pools, children’s playgrounds, designated parking spaces, air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, housekeeping, laundry, and 24-hour security systems.
Pha That Luang, is the most sacred and most important monument in Laos, is a 44-meters gold-covered stupa. It was built in 1566 after Vientiane became the capital of Laos. Another impressive structure in the city is Patuxai (victory gate), the Laotian version of Arc de Triomphe in Paris that features Buddhist symbols and Hindu deities, and has 5 traditional Laotian style ornate towers. Visitors are allowed to climb to the tower’s observation deck to get a stunning view of the city, especially at sunset.
Ho Phra Keo (or Hw Phra Kaew) is another attraction in the city that is worth a visit. Dating back to 1565, it is a former Buddhist shire that now serves as a museum of religious arts. It has displays of Buddha statues on the terrace, as well as 6th century stone sculptures in its main ordination hall.
Vientiane offers an affordable cost of living to foreigners. However, it is not as cheap as it used to be. In the last 20 years, Laos has been experiencing significant economic development, which has improved the standard of living and driven prices up. The official currency used in the city is Lao Kip (LAK), and the exchange rate from 1 USD is around 9,103 LAK. Cash is king in the country since debit and credit cards are rarely accepted. Therefore, always make sure to carry cash.
Theravada Buddhism is the largest religion in the country, which is why the city’s culture and people are deeply influenced by Buddhism values. Laotian, or Lao language, is the official and most widely spoken language. French and English are considered as minority languages.
To live or stay in Vientiane for an extended period of time, a number of different visa types are available for foreigners. These include 30-days business visa (NI-B2) and longer-term visas for experts and their dependents (C-B1).