Vientiane literally “City of Sandalwood” is the capital city of Laos, situated in the Mekong Valley. It is also Laos’s largest city. The estimated population of the city is 200,000 (2005) while the number of people living in the Vientiane metropolitan area (the entire Vientiane Prefecture and parts of Vientiane Province) is believed to be over 730,000. Vientiane is located at 17°58′ North, 102°36′ East (17.9667, 102.6). The city hosted for the first time the 25th Southeast Asian Games in December 2009 celebrating the 50 years of SEA Games.
Sri Sattanak, or Sisattanak is a former name of Vientiane. It is often confused with Sri Sattanakanahut, the Pali name of Lan Xang, the Kingdom of the Million Elephants. Sisattanak now is the name of one of the five districts of the city Vientiane.