Note: this review was written on Jun 13, 2009
Island in the Song river is probably the most popular party spot in Vang Vieg. Has few bars there, all open air, between bamboo and banana trees, some has hammocks, some bamboo mats to sit on and small wooden terraces under the straw roof. Music from one bar and another melts together in cacophonic noises when it's loud (and that means often).
Smile is the loudest place there and most crowded one. Music is quite typical western, nothing really that special but since you've heard it thousands times many will know lyrics by heart. Price for one beer is about 15000 KIP, they have cocktails too.
Bamboo has nicer, shady ambient with hammocks hanging between bamboo stalks and vegetarian buffet in the evening - and nice, chill out music, sometimes dub and reggae, sometimes slow rock and electronic. Beer was for 12 000 KIP. Near Bamboo there is Rock bar.
Sunset is another very popular spot at the edge of island, gets crowded in afternoons and looks like Smile. In daytime mostly young people lay lazily in hammocks sipping beers and smoking ganja. You can buy drinks and variety of other stuff there (but know what you're going into). Beer is for 12 000 KIP.
UPDATE 2013: THOSE BARS ARE ALL CLOSED NOW
This is one of many bars in Vang Vieng and is located near the Sakura, off the main street that runs through town. You can find all the usual western bar games such as pool tables, darts etc plus they also serve a wide choice of Irish food and drink.
It's very friendly place with nice atmosphere, local and western foods, (free) pool table and choice of cocktails: probably the cheapest mojito in Vang Vieng. You pay 10 000 KIP for Beer Lao or 12 000 KIP for Tiger beer. Has a lots of oil painting on the walls (for sale) with Lao motives and bamboo decorations (which is very typical here, anyway). Seems to be a popular place with visitors. Sometimes they like to watch live Premier league on the large screen.
Try also delicious fresh cakes at the Luangprabang bakery next door - some of the best of its kind in Laos (but for that reason they have higher price). Best during daytime when they're freshly baked.
Mojito at Oh La La is for 15 000 KIP. Go there for tasty breakfast.
On arrival off the bus from Luang Prabang at ungodly hour we were touted into a guesthouse not far from the bus station. We were offered rooms, and beer, and er....opium & weed. Well, when in rome.....
The next night, after a few blasts of weed and some opium, we headed into town for drinking. Beer Loas is one of the best beers in the world, and is cheap as chips.
Can't describe the feeling of wandering down the mainstreet bar to bar, high as a bloody astronaut. THe only thing the comes close is walking like a marshmallow man, everything in slow motion and happy. There's a lovely outdoor and relaxed atomsphere to drinking there, and, for me especially, it was a perfect place to relax.
Oh, and kids, I don't condone drug abuse....
Dress Code: Yeah right.....
When you are in Laos you notice one thing; the whole economy of the country seems to be based around Beerlaos. Its the national drink and probaly a national sport as well. It acounts for 98% of all beer sales but i would say its probaly 100% The good thing is its a very good beer and is very drinkable and in my opinion much better than Thai beers, its also very cheap. The bad thing is that it does tend to make you go crazy afetr 12 bottles or so, well it made me go crazy, or maybe that was the mushrooms, but well get them soon.
Everyone in Vang Vieng just drinks in one of the restaurants on the main street , there isnt a big diference in any of them just follow the crowd.
If your bored with beerlaos (and life in general) try a mushroom milkshake, or 'happy shake' as they are called. They cost about $1 and if its hallucinogenics your after this is probaly the cheapest hit you will find short of snorting raw ether. I did one once and was tripping for 3 days which for $1 was good value for money, saying that if your not used to this level of intoxication then this is not for you, but you should probably give it a go anyway.
One of the most beautiful sites in Loas is witnessing a sunset in Vang Vieng. The way the sun set just over the limsetone mountains and starts glistening on the nam song river just makes you think of how f#%king good it is to be alive
vang Viang is so small that it covered by 2-3 streets. The night life, the guesthouses, restaurants, travel agencies, everything could be just in one street.
The night life in a small toen is simple, a mug of beer in a good atmosphere restaurant, or a pub.. but i dont see any real hot disco ..