Getting around Vientiane is fairly easy as traffic is far less intense than in large Southeast Asian counties. The city has wide and typically clean boulevards that make it easy for visitors to get around and enjoy what the capital city has to offer.
Taxis are widely available in the capital but unfortunately they do not come cheap. You can even see a handful of pretty old cabs in the capital city that might make you think twice about riding in them. Nevertheless, a fleet of comparatively new Volkswagens have currently become available in Vientiane. Although they are high-priced, they provide a comfortable journey around the capital city.
Tuk-tuks, also known as jumbos, are the easiest mode of transport for getting around Vientiane on land. These 3-wheeler motorcycle driven cars are inexpensive and are found everywhere in the city. Just call a passing tuk-tuk over by waving your hand up and down. Haggling over the fare is a common occurrence but these tuk-tuk services are generally cheap wherever the destination is within the capital.
A handful of rickshaws are still seen in Laos with some of them circling around the capital city. Rickshaws are small vehicles widely used in South East Asian countries to carry one or two passengers. Old men with dark skin often do most of the cycling. Still, nothing is quite comparable to riding a real rickshaw the authentic way. Its quiet and stable pace is a great way to wander around town, especially if you are in no rush to explore the city.
Buses that were donated by the Japanese government can be seen around the capital as well. Tourists are not recommended to take such buses except when visiting places that are far from the city center. These buses often operate on inter-provincial routes. Know that most buses in the city only leave when they are full, which can be a bit frustrating if you are tight on time. Although they are fairly convenient and comfortable, long-legged travelers may find buses quite cramped because of the short leg room. They are also not air-conditioned.
Now for a more challenging mode of transport, truck-buses, which are trucks with a wooden bus body, and songhaews, which are pick-up trucks that have seats that run down on both sides, are available. These transports usually operate on inter-provincial routes. Most locals sit on the roof of such transports in order to enjoy the great landscape during the journey. If you dare try it with the locals, be careful to hold on as the roads might be a wee bit bumpy.
Hiring boats is another good choice as they can be trustier despite it taking longer to get to your destination. There are usually 3 types of boats that go along the Mekong River. Cargo boats sail up to China but they are not advised for foreign tourists. Travelers should try to hire long and narrow passenger boats or speed boats instead. Major routes go along the Mekong, Tha and Pak rivers.
Now because Vientiane is a compact city and most tourist destinations are found close together, getting around Vientiane on foot is possible without too much difficulty. But for those destinations that are out of the way or if you’re feeling too tired to use your legs, any of the mentioned modes of transports can be used during your stay in Vientiane.