Vientiane is the capital city of Laos.
The cheapest hostel in Vientiane is on the left side if you enter the town (sleepy Vientiane is not really a city) from the north (Louangphabang). Unfortunately Worldhitch can't remember the name, but it's only 2$. In this area are also many other hostels, so get of your car here instead of being dropped in the center as this saves you a 20min walk.
North: Towards Vang Vieng / Luang Prabang From the central bus station take a local bus to the outskirts of the city. Bus 23 goes to Tha Ngon for 5,000 kip ($0.65 USD) where is it possible to hitch and meet up with the main road north at Phonhong. Tha Ngon is around 25km north of Vientiane and the roads up there are small and easy to catch a ride.
Vientiane bus routes can be found on the official city bus website: http://vcsbe.com/routemap/ this lists prices, timetables and routes.
South / East: Towards Savannahket, Pakse, 4,000 Islands etc
To get to the south from Vientiane you will need to head East out of the city first as going south from Vientiane leads straight into Thailand. To catch a ride east, first take a bus from central bus station, number 14 goes to Buddha Park / Friendship bridge for 6,000 Kip ($0.75 USD). Get off somewhere on the main highway and begin to hitch once you are far enough out of the Vientiane suburbs.