What you must do in Luang Prabang is to visit the night market near Luang Prabang National Museum. The colorful clothes, beautiful lanterns in various shapes and cute wood products are very fascinating.
This place is...interesting! It seems that this is where the young Lao people go to get drunk and dance! It's all very cheesy! Be extra careful, we heard lots of stories of pickpocketing.
Dress Code: No dress code
This isn't a recommendation spot for nightlife rather just a tip about the lack of it. Both Vientiane and Luang Prabang shut up shop early. Most restaurants have finished by 9pm. There is the odd bar - usually run by foreigners that you can get a drink but neither place is exactly a party town!
You certainly won't want to get a brew like this - locally made snake, scorpion and god knows what in the rice wine.
Lao food is rather light, and you may feel a bit hungry before bedtime.
You're not alone: go to some night market and join the crowds.
Remember, if you've seen it grill, it's probably safe for your genteel Western stomach.
I remember burning my mouth on deep fried balls of sweet dough, in almost pitch darkness, among laughing children.
The Lao capital, Vientiane, of course offers the most nightlife as compared to other towns in Laos. Some of the more interesting stuffs which you could possibly do, besides drinking are perhaps, getting to Putaxai and Phat That Luang to catch the night time view. The more busy night time places center around the Nam Phu area. More internet places open till midnight and hence, clearing your emails at night may be a good idea.
You may have guessed that Vang Vieng, like the other small towns, has nothing much to offer after the sun sets. Well, yes, other than sleeping early, enjoying a BeerLao at one of the restaurants by the Nam Song River, chatting and sharing interesting stories with other travelers, there is nothing much to do.
Where there are more tourists, there is more nightlife. In Luang Prabang, you will find the place more bustling with activities after dark. Some night time activities are :
- Night market every night along the street where the Royal Palace is
- Few pubs at the town centre
- Drinking at the restaurants along the main street of the Mekong River
- Enjoy strolling at night
- Get to an internet café and surf the web dry or send your emails
Similarly to Muang Khua, Nong Khiaw is a tiny little town without any town-like nightlife activities. Personally, I enjoyed the 1 evening in Nong Khiaw when I was there. I was having my dinner at Sunset Guesthouse, talking to the locals working with the guesthouse. In particular, there was 1 young man I was talking with and he provided much insight on the life there. Well, he was keen to practice communicating in English with me. He told me about his family and how he ended up working for the Guesthouse. It was an interesting conversation.
Star gazing from the veranda is cool.
Enjoy dreaming away…
In Muang Khua, there is absolutely no nightlife. All you could do is perhaps drinking at the Nam Ou Guesthouse Restaurant which is by the Nam Ou River as you plan for your onward trip or write your travel journal. If not, just enjoy the quietness or sleep early.
When I was in Muang Sing, I was staying with the villagers in Ahka villages, hence, I shall describe on some nighttime activities which the locals engage in which you can also participate.
- Drink Lao Lao with the villagers (As visitors, hospitable village heads usually offer Lao Lao, a very strong liquor.)
- Ahka massage by Ahka women
- Star-gazing (As the villages are usually pitch dark at night, star gazing on a clear day is simply amazing.)
I was in Luang Namtha on two occasions. I shall just briefly share with you on what I did and what you could possibly do at night.
Despite the fact that like other small towns in Laos, there is not much vibrant nightlife other than, perhaps the capital city of Vientiane, I personally find myself enjoying the quietness and peacefulness of these places, especially at night.
In Luang Namtha, things you could do when the sun sets are:
- Herbal Massage (but not too late)
- Chill out at 1 of the restaurants as you put down your thoughts of the day in your travel journal
- Check out the fireflies which are everywhere
- People watch
- Watch TV at Panda Restaurant
- Visiting the provision stores to stock up your snack supplies
When I was in Huay Xai, I noticed that this place sleeps early. Well, most places sleep early. The only thing you could do at Huay Xai is probably drinking BeerLao (many restaurants along the streets), especially during the hot season. If you were to walk along the main street, you will observe that family members of the local households sitting outside their houses, chatting among themselves, catching up with one another on the happenings of the day.
Verdict : No vibrant nightlife.
Vientiane is not really a paradise for night fans. After dusk the city is nearly deserted and the little (when existing) public lights don't really help at this. You can find a few restaurants that open till late and a disco here or there (in big hotels) but nothing else...
There may be somewhat of a happening spot to hang out in at night, but I never got the chance to find it really. There are a few clubs or discos scattered throughout Vientiane, and some cool cafe's along the main street in Luang Phabang, but nothing like the hotspots in neighboring Bangkok.
These places are every where and can be very relaxing or very enjoyable. They have movies playing all day and night with lounge like tables and chairs. They have many special menus from special cakes to special teas on the menu and can make your movie be very enjoyable.
TOUGH MANAGEMENT While this facility may be nice, I know the management is tough and does not have...more
Although my stay in Vientiane was brief, I really enjoyed the hotel. It had everything I needed and...more
Ban Sawang, Vang Vieng, 2145532, Laos
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Business
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