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.
Ready to hear about one of the wildest towns I’ve ever been to? Here it comes…
Just came back to Thailand after a week in Laos. My VISA were up and I needed to get a new one. I’m currently relaxing in Nong Khai after a wild week. However, Songkran is starting tomorrow so it wont be much time for relaxing.
Vang Vieng is a place I’ve never heard about until I came to the capital of Laos. When I was at my hotel a guy told me about this crazy town 150km north of the capital where you can pretty much do anything you want.
Drugs are sold blatantly in many bars. Alcohol is basically free. You can drive drunk and high. In daytime people are tubing down the river, while the locals set up temporary bars along the riverbank where you can get wasted on alcohol, marihuana, mushrooms, opium and laughing gas.
OF COURSE I had to check out such as place. I jumped on a bus and 4 hours later I arrived just before sunset. 😀
Nightlife in Vang Vieng
Vang Vieng is a paradise for backpackers and other people who like to take it to the edge. People start drinking at 10 am while tubing down the river. They continue to do this until the bars open at around sunset.
You will find bars all over Vang Vieng. Small bars, big bars, simple nightclubs, restaurants and hostels that serve alcohol. However, some bars are more popular than others, and some bars have more ‘happy stuff’ on the menu. I will tell you everything you need in this nightlife guide for Vang Vieng.
Most bars open around 19.00 when it gets dark and are open until after midnight.
Sakura bar is probably the most popular bar in town. The reason is simple. They offer totally free drinks from 19.00 to 20.00. There is no twist or condition. Just meet up in the bar at this time, and you will get free whisky for an entire hour.
The bar has a cool design with a dancing floor in the middle, while in the backyard there is a big area with lower volume you can sit while talking with people. In the front there was long tables where people played beer pong.
Viva Pub is another popular bar in Vang Vieng. This place offer free drinks from 22.00 to 23.00. Everyday there was a stream of people who walked from Sakura Bar to Viva Pub so they could get the free drinks there also.
This place is more like a nightclub. There is almost no seating, just a big dance floor indoors. The sound system is decent, but I think they played waaay to loud.
This place had just opened. It looked pretty dope. The sound system was awesome and the decorations and lights looked very good.
However, one thing was missing; people.
And I think I know the reason. Most people who come to Vang Vieng are backpackers on very low budgets. People drank as much as they could when Sakura Bar and Viva Pub had free drinks, just to save some bucks.
Then most people stayed those bars after free drinks as there was already a lot of people there and a lot of fun.
Free drinks: – Happy hour: – Open: 20.00 – 01.00
There was a lot of hot girls all around town every night. Thai girls, Chinese girls, Korean girls, Japanese girls and Western girls. At midnight most of them was so wasted on alcohol and mushrooms that you could literally pull them out of the bar and guide them gently to your bedroom.
The same is true for the guys. They were way too wasted and did not really hit on girls. So if you take it a little bit easy on the drugs you have a big advantage. You can get a lot of flags in this town.
Milan Pizza is just on the opposite side of Viva bar. This place was not popular because of free drinks or an awesome dance floor.
Milan Pizza is one of the few bars that offers a ‘happy menu’. Marihuana, opium and mushrooms can be bought here at any time when the bar is open. As long as you take the drugs inside the bar police will not harass you.
You could also buy happy pizza, happy soup or happy pancake. It’s really up to you.
Just like Milan Pizza. This place offer an alternative menu with a lot of different drugs.
This place blast out reggae all day long.
This was the only place I saw that is making fruit shakes with mushrooms or marihuana.
This was probably the most popular bar in Vang Vieng that offered an alternative meny.
This place was full of people from early afternoon until midnight. Just being close to this bar, and you could smell the marihuana.
I’m all for legalizing drugs. I think adults should have the right to decide what substance they want to poison their body with. Alcohol or whatever. Taking drugs is an act without a victim, and it’s just stupid to punish people for it. Save the prisons for the rapists and murderers.
When that is said. People react very different on different drugs, and when you take more than one drug at a time it can quickly become overwhelming, especially if you are not used to taking drugs. Every night there was people freaking out after taking mushrooms. Mushrooms is not dangerous, but it will make you see and feel things you probably aren’t prepared for.
Also. Always stay inside the bars. As soon as you go outside the bars with any drugs, there are local police / mafia in civilian that will pull you away and take you to the police station.
The current bribe for getting busted with drugs in Vang Vieng is 5 million kip (600 dollar). That is roughly a one year salary for an average police man in Laos, and it will absolutely hurt most people’s travel budgets.
Every Friday night there is a jungle party around 3 km outside town.
There is a dance floor that is decorated in trees and bushes, a African man that plays drums and several bars where you can buy alcohol. That’s what I remember from that place.
Every bar sell tickets to the event. Tuktuk drivers pick up people outside Viva Pub and Milan Pizza.
Tubing is another very popular activity in Vang Vieng. You basically take a tuk-tuk 4km upstream, then you tube down the river until you reach the town again. A long the river bank there will be many temporary bars set up where you can take a drinking break from the tubing.
I’ve heard this activity was much wilder in the old days with hundreds, even thousands of people tubing down the river daily. Then people started to die and it hit the international news. NGO’s started to complain then everything got shut down.
However, there are still some tubing activities going on, and personally I think it was pretty wild even today.
Hookers in Vang Vieng
There is a redlight district hidden just outside town. I found this place totally random while driving around on my motorbike.
It was about 7-10 small stalls with around 5 to 10 girls in each. I asked mamasan about prices. It could be anything from 150.000 to 750.000 kip. The white skinned girls was the most expensive, if she was hot or not didn’t matter.
There was a lot of cute young girls here. They looked really confused when I came there so I don’t think white guys come there very often. I did see some guys go with girls here the 15 minutes I was here, all was Asian guys.
Freelancers in Vang Vieng
There were freelancers in the bars and in the streets. However, many of them were ladyboys from Thailand coming here to party and maybe make som extra cash on the side. I also met som Thai girls that would go with me to the hotel for 1500 baht.
However, I didn’t see the need as there were plenty of drunk girls around ready for some fun for free.
Happy ending massage
I had several massages when in the parlors that was close to the popular bars. None of them offered any type of happy ending. You even shared room with other men so something more ‘fun’ would not be possible here.
Several tuktuk drivers offered me to take me to ‘good massage’, so I’m sure there exist something, but I didn’t find it myself.
Lao girls in Vang Vieng
Soo.. What’s up with Lao girls?
Lao girls has to be some of the most beautiful girls I’ve ever encountered. They carry themselves with such style and elegance that you just end up staring at them until it gets almost creepy. I almost drove of the road several times when I drove past groups of Lao girls.
I talked with several Lao girls, and while they were shy, their smiles could light up the dark side of the moon. Not to forget that they were very friendly. Most of them wear the traditional dress, the sinh, that covers up most of their body.
This dress is not supposed to be sexy, but I still found it sexy in a strange way. 😀
They are all tall, skinny, have big lips, big smiles, perfect make up, red lips and perfect posture.
There is just one big problem….
… IT’S ILLEGAL TO FUCK THEM AS A FOREIGNER…………….
Yes, you need to be married and have the proper documents in order before you can bang a Lao chick. I met several cute Lao chicks in the bars around Vang Vieng, but I was very hesitant on bringing them back to my hotel.
I talked with many of the foreigners that worked in the bars there, and it’s totally normal that the hotels call the cops as soon as you enter with a Lao girl. They will raid your hotel while you are banging her, and they will meet up with flashlights and cameras so they have proof.
Any foreigners who bang a Lao chick risks paying up to 5000 dollars in fines / bribes to local police chiefs. That’s big money… 🙁
Not only that. The girl you banged risks ending up in prison without trial for a very long time and she will be considered ‘de-flowered’ by her entire village. Not cool.
If you want to meet Lao girls you are much better of in Thailand. There is a ton of them there. You wont get in trouble for banging them in Thailand and their family still think they are virgins. In Nong Khai and Udon Thani there are ton of Lao girls that works in bars and restaurants. Take your pick.
There is a lot of activities in daytime except tubing. The scenery in Vang Vieng is some of the most beautiful and untouched nature I have ever seen. You have blue lagoons, caves, mountain tops, rural villages and amazing scenery everywhere ready to be explored!
Renting a motorbike is cheap and just as easy as in Thailand. Traffic is very calm so I absolutely recommend doing that.
Here are some scenery pictures I took on this trip. Click the pictures for full size.
If you are thinking about doing some serious exploring with motorbike I do recommend buying a medical mask. This place is very dusty and you will get itchy in your throat after some days.
You also want to be back before sunset as there are no street lights as soon as you are outside Vang Vieng. Most villages don’t even have electricity.
Vang Vieng has potensial!!
Now imagine this. Every weekend a ton of tourists comes to Vang Vieng to let loose. What happens in Vang Vieng stays in Vang Vieng. Really, the place doesn’t even have decent Internet!!
I met girls here from Korea, China, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, all over Europe and the US. People come here for all kind of reasons. The nature, the rivers, mountain climbing, tubing and getting wasted on drugs.
At night everyone ends up in the two most popular bars, Sakura Bar and Viva Pub. They all get wasted on free whisky, mushrooms and weed. Most girls stay in cheap dorms with no AC.
Then you come around telling girls about your air conditioned bachelor pad a stone’s throw away. You have cheap whisky ready in the refrigerator and a very comfortable king-sized bed ready for action!
You’d be king in town !!!
Yes, there are downsides to this town. It’s very dusty, there is almost no infrastructure, the place have no decent hospital and the mongering is limited.
But who cares..? I’m not saying you should stay there forever. Staying 3-4 months would be plenty, you could get a ton of flags at nighttime and cruise around on your beaten up motorbike in day time. That’s freedom! 😀
Vang Vieng had a small expat community, so you wont be alone up there either. Most of them are professional drugs addicts while they ‘work’ in the bars (keeps the bar running while they get free food, a place to stay and alcohol in return). That way they can stay on the road a little longer.
However, I met some motivated expats up there who was really trying to start up their businesses. One guy had a computer with VR glasses. A lot of tourists wanted to try that while they were high on mushrooms and/or weed. He made a lot of money.