Vientiane Province (also known as rural Vientiane) (Lao ວຽງຈັນ) is a province of Laos, located in the northwest of the country. As of 2004 the province had a total population of 373,700 people. Vientiane Province is a large province, covering an area of 15,927 square kilometres (6,149 sq mi) with 10 districtsin mid north-western Laos. The province borders Luang Prabang Province to the north, Xiangkhouang Province to the northeast, Bolikhamxai Province to the east, Vientiane Prefecture and Thailand to the south, and Xaignabouli Province to the west. The principal towns are Vang Vieng and Muang Phôn-Hông. Several kilometres to the south of Vang Vieng is one of Laos's largest lakes, Nam Ngum. Much of this area, particularly the forests of the southern part, are under the Phou Khao Khouay National Bio-Diversity Conservation Area. The principal rivers flowing through the province are the Song River, Nam Ngum River and the Nam Lik River.
In the mid-16th century, Vientiane under King Setthathirat's rule became prosperous. It became a major centre of Buddhist teachings and many wats were built. In 1989, the province was split into two halves — the Vientiane Prefecture containing the city Vientiane itself, and the remaining province.
Vang Vieng (Lao: ວັງວຽງ) is a tourism-oriented town in Laos, located in Vientiane Province about four hours bus ride north of the capital. The town lies on the Nam Song river. The most notable feature of the area is the karst hill landscape surrounding the town.