I have been to this city many times when I pick up a new VISA at the Thai Embassy, but this time I decided to stay a few days to check out what this city has to offer.
I have to be honest. The nightlife in Vientiane was boring and lame.
I was not impressed considering that this is a capital and it didn’t feel like a capital or big city at all, but more like a big village.
The city center is very well groomed and decorated, but as soon as you get a couple of miles outside it’s dusty, most roads are gravel and you realize that this is a very poor third world country.
However, the city had some nightlife highlights, and in this short post I will tell you about them.
Nightlife in Vientiane
Nightlife in Vientiane consist mainly of laid back pubs / bars and a few restaurants here and there. There are a few nightclubs in town but it’s nothing like you will find in neighboring capital of Thailand, Bangkok.
At midnight pretty much everything is closed and the entire city reminds me more of a ghost town rather than a capital. Yes, it’s that dull! After midnight nothing was going on anywhere!
Popular bars in Vientiane
The most popular bars in Vientiane you will find on the Mekong promenade and around the “Nam Phou” fountain in the middle of the city. Everything is in walking distance so it doesn’t matter where you go. If one place sucks you can walk to the next place.
Bor Pen Nyang Bar
This bar was probably the most popular bar in Vientiane for foreigners. It was in third floor in one of the buildings with good view over the Mekong River. The bar has very good seating with excellent view towards the Mekong River.
I sat here all Saturday evening watching the sunset, eating Thai food and drinking delicious Beer Lao. The place started to get full at around 8pm and stayed like that until midnight when it closed. The avenue has very nice decoration and they also had a pool table.
I liked this place a lot!
Khop Chai Deu Restaurant
I was here on Friday night. The place was pretty full with a mix of locals, Thai people, backpackers and older guys living in Thailand just waiting for a Thai VISA.
The place was primarily a restaurant, but also worked as a pub. They sold every kind of food you can imagine, also Western food.
No live music.
A also read may places on the web that if you wanted to pick up a temporary girlfriend for the night, you would find freelancers here.
I did not see any.
3 Yaek Parkpasuk Restaurant
Not sure if this is the correct name as the sign outside was in Lao, but this name was in Google Map, so I assume it’s correct.
This place was very popular among local people as it was completely full both nights I was here.
It’s a mix between restaurant and bar. Most people here eat food while they drink and socialize.
The avenue also had live music that played local music, Thai music and Western hits.
Mekong River Promenade
A lot of things are happening along the Mekong promenade every night.
Mekong River night marked
Every night at around 7 pm a night marked opens in the Chao Anouvong Park along the Mekong Promenade.
Goods are clothes, food, drinks, juice, toys and other cheap stuff from China.
There is also a big open area where people exercise everyday at sunset. A lot of local girls hang out in this area every evening enjoying the sunset while reading books or playing with their phone.
Mekong River restaurants and bars
It’s hard to explain exactly where this was. But it’s pinned down on the map at the bottom of this post.
When you are at the night marked, just follow the Mekong promenade about 1 km west. Then 15 – 20 restaurants and bars with live music will suddenly appear.
I did eat a lot here and the food was awesome. I also had my first slurp of Beer Lao, a beer that was surprisingly delicious.
Hookers in Vientiane
Bars girls in Vientiane
You will not find beer bars with working girls in Vientiane like you do all over Thailand. There are local brothels at the outskirts of the city but I would be very careful as it’s illegal to bang Lao girls in Laos.
If you really want to visit a brothel just talk with a tuktuk driver. They know where they are. I did not visit these places, but many tuktuk drivers offered me ‘happy times’.
Freelancers in Vientiane
Freelancers however you will find in downtown Vientiane. Some of them are hanging out in the bars while waiting for customers while others are roaming the streets. I did see a couple of freelancers in the bar Bor Pen Nyang along the Mekong river.
They were wearing skirts that left little to the imagination. No regular Lao girl would ever wear a dress like that.
I also saw a couple of freelancers along Rue Samsenthai Rd near the “Nam Phou” fountain. Check map for location.
Ladyboys in Vientiane
I stumbled across a handful of ladyboys in the same street as the female freelancers. Rue Samenthai Rd to be exact. I did talk with one of them and they were Thai, not Lao.
Meeting regular Lao girls
If you want to meet and date regular Lao girls I’ve already made a post about that. So I won’t go into detail in this post.
You might also think that since the nightlife in Vientiane is boring, and it’s the capital, it’s also boring in all other cities of Laos.
That is not true. If you want to experience a wild nightlife where everything is pretty much tolerated. You should check out my nightlife guide of Vang Vieng 4 hours north of Vientiane.