Nightlife in Vientiane
Vientiane has a few bars/clubs, but there's no shortage of places for a quiet Beerlao. In particular, the Mekong shoreline has long been the epicentre of low-key nightlife, although a massive construction project to build a flood management levee system and a riverside park has seen most of the bamboo-and-thatch beer gardens here disappear.
- Bor Pen Nyang (Fa Ngum Rd, the river promenade), . Breezy fourth-floor (no elevator) bar/restaurant which overlooks the Mekong, nice view point for sunsets and then watching the night market below. Tourists, locals, expats, working girls, and ladyboys in seeming harmony. Claims the most extensive range of whiskies in Laos and stocks a wide range of liquors. Special daily cocktail for 20,000 kip. Pool and snooker tables on the 2nd floor. At the back of the bar there is a winner stays/loser pays pool competition every night.
- CCC Bar (Supanvong Rd, Ban Haai Sok). The second of two gay bars in downtown Vientiane, next to Silapa Restaurant and diagonally across from Vat Inpeng. Friendly atmosphere and staff with good dance beats. Mixed drinks average around 30,000 kip, with happy hour from 19:00-21:00. Second floor has a pool table.
- Champa. Vietnamese-owned "super" club. Place to go for loud techno music.
- Deja Vu (Next to L'Opera Restaurant on Nam Phu Square). Closed Sunday. A very classy and cosy bar, owned and run by Japanese-speaking Lao owner. Great drinks. Approximately 50,000 kip per cocktail.
- Don Chan Palace Hotel Nightclub. Till 04:00 weekends. Everything is supposed to close down before midnight, before the start of the unofficial curfew, although clubs generally stay open until 01:00-01:.30. The most notable exception is this extremely popular spot which is open until 04:00 weekends. It's an after-hours club popular with working girls among others.
- GQ Bar and Massage (Off Rue Chao Anou (the same street as the Inter City and Orchid Hotels, off Fa Ngum Rd, along the river)). Till ~01:00. One of two gay bars in central Vientiane. Friendly staff, cheap drinks and occasional cabaret shows around 23:00.
- Jazzy-Brick (Setthathirat Rd nearly opposite Kop Chai Deu). A classy and expensive bar. The sign out front states "no shorts, no flip-flops allowed".
- Khop Chai Deu (Setthathirat Rd next to the fountain square). The name means "thank you very much". Popular with tourists, expats and Lao hi-so types. OK food, mid-range prices, large selection of Western, Thai and recently introduced classic Lao dishes. Great place to drink beer in the centre of town.
- Marina (Toward the Airport). Happening all nights of the week. Crowd changes from beginning, midweek, to weekend. Bowling alley and karaoke next door, same owner. Diverse crowd and music.
- Martini Lounge (Nokeo Kummane Rd, just a block from the Mekong and next door to Croissant d'Or Bakery.). 18:00-past 23:30 curfew. Movies shown M-W at 20:00. Thursdays are Salsa nights and most Fridays a DJ is spinning. Possibly plays the most eclectic music in Vientiane.
- Samlo Pub (Setthathirat Rd opposite Wat Onteu). Once this was one of only a few bars in town, and was packed every evening, especially between 23:00-02:00 after other bars around town are closed. Perhaps quieter now that there is more competition. Has a pool table and shows sports, but the background music often drowns the TV commentary. Drinkers from Bor Pen Nyang often come here when it closes, then move on again to the Don Chan Palace nightclub once Samlo closes.
- Wind West. Different cover bands play throughout the night. Maybe the only country-western bar in Laos. A sit and listen to live band place, not a dance club.
- Highland Bar. Nice drinking hole and sports bar by the river, good spot for viewing sunsets.