Drinking and nightlife in Laos

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in Vientiane

    Le Trio

    Sip your piccolo latte to a soundtrack of jazz and the scent of cooking beans; tiny Le Trio roasts its own coffee and is the most atmospheric hang-out for caffeine cravers in Vientiane. A few pastries are usually also available.

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in Luang Prabang

    Utopia

    Lush riverside bar with peaceful views of the Nam Khan, recliner cushions, low-slung tables and leafy nooks. Chill over a fruit shake, burger or breakfast (mains 30,000K to 60,000K), play a board game or volleyball, or just lose yourself in a sea of candles come sunset. Brilliantly designed with faux Khmer ruins and creeper vines, this is surely the city's liveliest outdoor bar. Luang Prabang Yoga runs regular classes here; check the website for the schedule.

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in Vientiane

    Laodi

    Refurbished shipping containers in front of a spooky abandoned building, riverside breezes, and local rum distilled by a Japanese resident. Laodi is hard to pin down but easy to enjoy. And best of all, the rum, made from Lao sugar cane grown near Vientiane, is delicious; try a tasting flight, which ranges in flavour from plain to passion fruit (we like the barrel-aged 'brown' and coffee).

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in Vang Vieng

    Smile Beach Bar

    This mega-chill riverside bar is a slice of the old Vang Vieng, before the buggies took over. Order a Beerlao (we don't recommend eating here) and swing in a hammock or dip your toes in the river; it's ideal for an afternoon or sunset drink and swim. Reach the bar by crossing the footbridge to Don Khang. Smile is also the end point for yellow-route rafting trips along the Nam Song.

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in Vang Vieng

    Earth

    Made from driftwood and clay, this artsy hillside bar-restaurant pipes out fine tunes to match the ambience, with live music nightly from 7pm. Check out the sumptuous view of the cliffs from the lamp-lit garden, while munching on potato wedges, burgers and salads (mains 30,000K to 90,000K). Located at the northern end of town; look for the glowing green sign.

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in Vientiane

    Spirit House

    This traditional Lao house facing the Mekong has a well-stocked bar and a witty, helpful menu that doubles as a crash course in cocktails. A chilled soundtrack complements the dark woods and comfy couches of its stylish interior, or you can sit outside and gaze at the river. Hit the exceptionally fun happy hours weekdays from 4pm to 6pm.

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in Vientiane

    Earth

    At first glance, Earth looks as crunchy as a bowl of organic granola, but live music, cultural events, an eclectic soundtrack, craft beers, enthusiastic locals and fun staff mean that there's something here to appeal to just about everybody. Check the Facebook page to see what's on when you're in town.

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in Luang Prabang

    Icon Klub

    A beatnik boudoir more than a club, Icon pays homage to an older era and offers some of the best cocktails in town, including the devilish absinthe martini. A sculpted angel rises out of the wall and there are poetry slams, jam sessions and kick-ass tunes from Patti Smith to Tom Waits.

  • Nightlife in Vientiane

    TitKafe

    Snicker at the name all you want to, but TitKafe is easily the city's most sophisticated coffee shop. Local and imported beans make their way into a variety of drinks, ranging from nitro cold brew to an excellent espresso, there's a shortlist of pastries and snacks and a brief menu of burgers, sandwiches and pasta.

  • Nightlife in Vientiane

    Dresden

    Just your typical German-themed bar as perceived through a Japanese lens and located in Laos. There's a good selection of booze (especially sake), unique insulated beer mugs, hand-chipped ice cubes and some fascinating bar snacks that bridge the culinary gap between Japan and Germany. Oddly enough, it works.

  • Nightlife in Savannakhet

    Lao Coffee Stall

    What better way to start the day than with a group of older gentlemen shooting the breeze, playing dominoes and sipping jet-black Lao-style coffee? A few sips might even provide some insight into Savannakhet. There's no English-language sign here; look for the open-fronted baby-blue building.

  • Nightlife in Vientiane

    Naga Boat

    Landlubbers rejoice: we've found the perfect cruise. This permanently beached vessel features stunning river views, some of Vientiane's better cocktails, domestic and import draught beer and an implicit no-seasickness guarantee.

  • Nightlife in Northern Laos

    Bar How

    Decked in old muskets and rice-paddy hats, Bar How is darkly atmospheric. By night a row of homemade lòw-lów (rice wine), infused with everything from blueberry to lychee, catches the low light and resembles a Victorian apothecary. It also serves pizza, steak and spring rolls (mains 30,000K to 60,000K). However, slack service means you may have to seek out staff.

  • Nightlife in Luang Prabang

    Chez Matt

    Oxblood walls, low lights and a handsome bar glittering with polished crystal, this candlelit haunt is central and peaceful, adding a dash of upscale sophistication to the city's nocturnal landscape. With its cocktails, French and Italian wine cellar and chilled music, this makes for a good spot to dress up in your finest before going somewhere swish for dinner.

  • Nightlife in Luang Prabang

    Bar 525

    Parked down a quiet street, there's nothing retiring about this chic, urban bar. Sit outside stargazing on the terrace, inside at the long bar in low-lit style, or in the comfy lounge. Cocktails galore, glad rags, stunning photography on the walls and a sophisticated crowd. Snacks such as buffalo sliders and quesadillas are available. Prices match the ambience.

  • Nightlife in Northern Laos

    Classic

    Overlooking a lily pond and the distant mountains, The Classic is a great little bar serving up purple rice beer, passion-fruit mojitos, exotic snacks and good tunes. By night its low-rise wooden tables glow under the amber lights. Run by the friendly owner of The Hiker, it's a good spot to interact with locals.

  • Nightlife in Luang Prabang

    Luang Prabang Motorcycle Club

    It's worth venturing further up the peninsula after dark to discover this little gem. It's not a hardcore biker bar, but a lovely little hole-in-the-wall serving creative cocktails, cold Beerlao and a good range of international comfort food. Enquire about motorbike tours, as it is run by Nila, one of Laos' only female motorbike tour guides.

  • Nightlife in Vientiane

    Bor Pen Yang

    Overlooking mother Mekong, a cast of locals, expats, bar girls and travellers assembles at this tin-roofed, wood-raftered watering hole to gaze at the sunset over nearby Thailand. Western tunes, pool tables and a huge bar to drape yourself over, as well as international football and rugby on large flat-screen TVs.

  • Nightlife in Northern Laos

    Ming Khouan

    This is where it's at in Udomxai; a lively wooden and bamboo beer garden that draws a young crowd to quaff Beerlao by the crate. A decent selection of Lao food is available, including barbecued skewers, and the owner even allows drinkers to stay on after closing as long as the music stops. It's near the airport.

  • Nightlife in Vang Vieng

    Jungle Project

    If you want to recapture the spirit of Va Va Vang Vieng before the clampdown on the town's formerly raucous party scene, the Jungle Project parties are the easiest way to get your flashback. Friday night is the big all-nighter and it takes place at the decrepit Vang Vieng Mai Resort, about 2km north of town.