Nong Khai Nightlife: Where to Party and Drink?

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars)
Even if you live in Thailand, you may not be familiar with Nong Khai. This town of 50,000 inhabitants is near the border with Laos, and it is often a stopover for people heading to Vientiane by land.

This is exactly the reason I was there, for only 1 night. Naturally, I tried to find out if there was any nightlife.

The city gets very quiet in the evening and you'll barely hear any noise apart from dogs barking and motorbikes. Even finding street food after 10PM can be challenging.

Some areas are more busy though, with restaurants, bars, live music and even nightclubs.
Below are my top recommendations for drinking and partying in Nong Khai:

Along The Mekong River: Mostly Thais
There is a nice promenade along the Mekong River called Rim Kong Alley. It is approximately 3 kilometers long from the temple Wat Hai Sok up to the Phra That Lanong (a replica temple).

Along the way, you have at least 100 restaurants, among which more than 50% specialize in hotpot/BBQ (don't ask me why). At some point, you will see local pubs and karaokes, sometimes with live music.

In particular, young people will hang out in a few cafés located at the intersection of Soi Yot Kaeo 3 and Rim Kong Alley. The venues there are modern and really packed until 1AM. You can eat, drink, watch sports and enjoy some Thai live music.

Among those venues, you have A-GainSanamsook and ร้านเต่าหนองคาย (sorry I couldn't find the English translation). You may meet some pretty Thai girls there, most likely young students.

Near 
Wat Hai Sok: For Expats and Tourists
Just one street behind Rim Kong Alley, in Soi Rim Kong 1 (100 meters from Wat Hai Sok), there are a few bars and restaurants owned by foreigners (usually married with Thai girls).

As there are many guest houses around, they get reasonably crowded at night with a mix of expats and tourists.

It is very basic but friendly. The popular venues are next to each other: Jimmy's 1, Anchor Bar, Warm Up and Noi & Brendan.

Soi Nipatat: For Expats and Tourists Looking for Bargirls
My hotel was on this street which is about 300 meters from the Mekong. It can be considered the red-light district of Nong Khai as you have around 5-6 beer bars with prostitutes. There are also normal restaurants without girls (I ate in the French-owned Mai and they serve good food).

As in Soi Rim Kong 1, it seems that every bar is owned by a retired foreigner who married a Thai woman. Each one proudly displays his nationality outside the bar. You have an Italian (Oasi), a Swiss (Muscha & Lee), an American (DJ's Bar), an English (Candy Bar), an Australian, a Kiwi, etc...

From what I understood, new places open and close quite often since most customers in Nong Khai are only interested to get the cheapest beer they can. Many of those businesses don't make a profit and they are just little toys to keep the wives busy.

As you can expect, the girls are not exactly the prettiest you'll meet in Thailand, but who knows you might get lucky.

Prices in those bars are about 70THB for a beer and 120THB for a Thai dish. The closing hours are flexible and change every night depending on the customers. In general, only a few places will be open after 1AM.

Elsewhere: Thai Clubs and Bars
You can find nightclubs elsewhere in the city that will stay open until 3AM. They are typical of those you may have already visited in Thailand: A beer pub with a live band singing in Thai. Between breaks,  he is replaced by a DJ who mixes loud EDM/Top 40 remixes.

They are normally free to enter, and then inside it will cost you around 70 THB for a beer and 600-800THB for a whisky bottle.

The best one is probably Yellow Bus (near the riverside). It opened in 2016 and it attracts a crowd of young Thai people.

Another option is Sam Ran, not too far from Soi Nipatat. It is busy every night with clients older than in Yellow Bus. There are some freelance prostitutes as well.
Sam Ran Pub and Restaurant
Finally, you can go to Lam Kong Brewery but it is more traditional. I'm actually not sure of the name as there is no English sign in front of it (I used an automatic translation after finding the place on Google map).

Finally, there is a friendly Thai bar on Soi Hai Sok called Chilly's. No girls there but very friendly atmosphere.

You can see the exact location of all these places on my Nong Khai nightlife map below.

Where to Stay in Nong Khai Near the Nightlife?
For party purposes, I recommend you to stay in Soi Nipatat even though it is not exactly by the Mekong River. My hotel offered great value for money (13$ per night for a double room with AC) and it was just 5 meters from the bars. You can check it on Agoda: Nong Khai City Hotel. A slightly more expensive option in the same street is the White Inn (18$ per night).

If you want to stay by the Mekong river, the Mut Mee Garden Guest House has excellent ratings and it costs only 11$ per night.

For something a bit more upmarket, the brand-new Amanta is the best hotel near Nong Khai nightlife. Its price is still reasonable (40$ per night).

Meeting Normal Thai Girls
There aren't that many places to meet Thai girls in Nong Khai. The best option would be to go to one of the bars on the Mekong promenade (like A-Gain or Sanamsook).

Alternatively, you can check before your trip if there are any profiles on the popular dating sites ThaiFriendly and ThaiCupid. It is free to register and to browse profiles.

Nong Khai Nightlife Map

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