Although not as popular with backpackers as compared to Thailand and Cambodia, I went to Vientiane, the capital of Laos, to spend two days to so I could have my passport stamped because my maximum stay in Thailand was about to expire.
True enough, Vientiane is a sleepy city compared to its more metropolitan counterparts but it doesn’t lack in beauty and culture. The food is similar to Thai fused with a few French influences.
From Bangkok, I took a sleeper train going to Nong Khai that arrived in the morning. I went through the immigration process at the Thai border then rode another train to Thanaleng, Laos, some 13 km outside Vientiane. From there, a minivan took us to downtown Vientiane.
Alternately, you can also take the bus or taxi directly from Nong Khai to Vientiane.
If you’re into quiet cities, try going to Vientiane.