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Vientiane Nightlife: Top 20 Nightclubs and Bars (2017)

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
I stayed a week in the capital of Laos, Vientiane, to explore its nightlife. In this review, I will give you some tips about the best nightclubs, the best bars, where to stay near the nightlife and how to meet Laotian girls.

If you expect Vientiane to be a boring town, you are only partially right. After night falls, it isn't long before all shops and restaurants close, and by 10PM most streets are desperately deserted. At this time, even finding street food can be challenging.

If you go to the right places though, you'll discover some much more happening areas. As I realized, you can party every night in Vientiane until at least 3AM, well past the official midnight curfew.

Nightlife Areas in Vientiane
Click on the map to enlarge
Most of the bars, restaurants and nightclubs recommended in this article are within a small area north of the Chao Anouvong Park (green rectangle on the map) and along the riverside. Almost every visitors will stay there and you should probably too. These are recommended hotels near the nightlife:

→ 5-star: Crowne Plaza (200$ per night)
→ 4-star: Salana Boutique Hotel or Dhavara (120$ per night)
→ 3-star: Sunbeam Hotel (50$ per night)
→ 2-star: Moonlight Champa (30$ per night)

West of Vientiane, along Setthathilath Road, you will find some more upscale venues with much less tourists. This is where rich Laotians party as well as some expats (pink rectangle on the map).

Elsewhere in the city, the nightlife spots are sparsely located. Vientiane is not a city where you can just walk around and hope to find a great random bar. In general, as you get away from the city center, it gets naughtier. This is particularly true on T4 Road (Kamphengmeuang Road - red rectangle on my map). It can be considered a low-end red-light district as I counted at least 30 cheap girlie bars and karaokes, with working girls and sometimes hidden short-time rooms.

👉  Renting a motorbike: I was using a motorbike to get around in Vientiane. It costs about 50,000-60,000 per day and it will save you the trouble of negotiating with tuk-tuk drivers every time you want to go somewhere (and to explain where you want to go). The police does not seem to hunt tourists and the absence of traffic jams makes driving relatively easy. Still, it remains dangerous and you should make sure you are properly insured. You can read my Travel Insurance Guide for more information (it's about Indonesia but it applies to Laos as well).

Top 10 Bars in Vientiane
I-Beam Bar
You will find plenty of small restaurants, cafés and beer gardens selling alcohol in Vientiane. They will almost always be recognizable by their yellow and green neon sign (paid by Beerlao, the main brewer in Laos). Unfortunately, most of those places are not very interesting unless all you care about is getting drunk for as cheap as possible.

If you are looking for slightly more happening venues, you can try any of these:

Located by the riverside on the 4th floor of a building, it is one of the most popular bars in Vientiane. It gets consistently crowded every night from sunset until closing time with mostly tourists and backpackers, a few expats, some Laotians, some prostitutes and some ladyboys (later in the evening). The central bar makes it easy to meet people. You can play pool and there is a nice view on the Mekong. 15,000 kip for one beer, 40,000 kip for a cocktail and 40-60,000 kip for a main course. Music is Top 40 and EDM.

Musso
Part of the S Park Design Hotel, this live music pub is a popular hangout for rich Laotians and mixed Chinese. It is also where you'll see some of the prettiest girls in the city. Retro design. More expensive than average. Open every day until midnight.

I-Beam
This bar shares the same building with the fine dining restaurant Silapa. I visited on a Friday night and you had mostly dressed-up expats living in Vientiane. You might also meet some pretty and educated Laotian girls. Live music on Friday (Jazz, acoustic). Salsa on Thursday. Ladies night on Wednesday. Pricier than elsewhere (50,000 kip for a cocktail).

Samlo bar
An old, European-style pub serving food and cheap beer (10,000 kip). In another city I would never recommend it, but for Vientiane it is among the best for meeting people. Pool tables and foosball. Pop and rock music. Close at 2AM.

Read my full review: Samlo Bar Vientiane

Go Dunk
A new beer garden similar to those you have everywhere in Thailand. Laid-back vibe, live music, friendly staff.

CCC or Lao Café
This small bar is almost hidden near the Wind West Pub. It is officially gay-friendly but you'll also see plenty of girls, including hookers. It is the closest thing to a Thai-style girlie beer bar in Vientiane. It stays open until late (at least 2AM).

O'Grady's Irish Pub
O'Grady's is about 10 minutes away from the tourist area. It is patronized by an expat crowd who comes to watch sports, drink Guinness and eat Irish pub fare. Various events: Live music, quiz nights, darts nights, sports nights (rugby, UFC, football, AFL). Friendly owner. It is a family-friendly, especially during the weekend (kids playground in the backyard). Open every day except Monday until 12PM.

This is more a café/beer garden. Popular with older travelers. Nice setting but a bit expensive. The only reason I put it here is because it is normally quite busy and because it serves good food.

Hard Rock Café
The Hard Rock Café Vientiane is far from the city center, expensive and not very crowded. Live bands may sing in Laotian or English.

There are many more small bars in restaurants in the tourist center, particularly in Setthathirath Road, Samsenthai Road and the riverside street (Fa Ngum Road). For instance, the Beer House (largest beer selection in Vientiane), Paris Cocktail 2, Charlie's, Chokdee Belgian Beer Bar, Jazzy Brick Jazz Bar or Highland Sports Bar. Typically, those places are owned by foreigners married to a Laotian. They will rarely have more than 15-20 guests at once.

For a more local experience, you can try Western-style bars with a 100% local crowd elsewhere in the city, for instance CorebeerGarage Cocktail Bar, Relax, Suite 21 or Classic (see my nightlife map at the end of the article). 

Top 10 Nightclubs In Vientiane
Marina Nightclub
Most nightclubs in Vientiane are located in the western part of Setthathilah Road. As elsewhere in Asia, the local crowd tends to purchase bottles and stand around a table with their group of friends.

Marina
Marina is my favorite nightclub in Vientiane. It is also the only one with international standards (to a certain extent). It is large and packed on most nights with middle-to-upper class Laotians, a few Asian tourists (Chinese, Thai, Koreans) and surprisingly almost no foreigners. Loads of pretty girls. EDM and Hip Hop commercial music. Free entrance. Beer 18,000 kip. Close at 3AM.

Read my full review: Marina Club Vientiane.

Gold Star
Another fun place to party, Gold Star is part of a the huge Dao Kham Hotel complex. It is a Thai-style nightclub with live music acts followed by DJs (EDM). Compared to Marina, the crowd is much younger (some clubbers are probably under 18) and not as rich. Many opportunities for guys who want to meet girls. Free entrance. Close at 3AM.

Read my full review: Gold Star Nightclub

Wind West
Open since 1992, this live music pub has a mixed crowd of Laotians and tourists. The bands are a hit-and-miss but it does not really matter as people will dance whatever is being played. Excellent venue to meet local girls. Close at 2AM.

Read my full review: Wind West Vientiane

@Home
This is the Vientiane club where you'll see the most foreigners. It isn't too big nor sophisticated, but they have less commercial music (trance/techno). There are some normal girls but also prostitutes and ladyboys. Free entrance. Beer for 25,000 kip. Close at 3AM.

Read my full review here: @Home Vientiane

Also spelled Mark 2, it is an upmarket beer garden and live music club popular with rich Laotians. In the beer garden, the bands will normally play soft and romantic songs while in the club they will play pop/rock. Giant screen with sports. It also serves food. Walking distance from Mercure Hotel.

Phoenix
A small club with live music and commercial EDM DJs. As of today I don't really see the point of going there.

Read my full review here: Phoenix.

Romeo and The Pavilion
An upmarket complex featuring a live music hall (The Pavilion), a nightclub (Romeo) and an unnamed KTV. It was almost empty when I visited. Not worth it as it is 15 minutes from the tourist center.

Read my full review: Romeo Nightclub and Pavilion Music Hall

Batman Pub
A decent nightclub which is unfortunately located in the middle of nowhere, at the end of a dirt road. EDM, live music, karaoke. Local crowd.

Read my full review: Batman Pub & KTV

Mittaphab Club and Karaoke
An odd club with a mix of old Laotian couples, some Chinese guys and 20-something karaoke hostesses. A live band plays mellow Lao songs. Group dancing. Free entrance. 25,000 kip for a beer. Close at midnight. It belongs to the Mekong Hotel.

Read my full review: Mittaphab - Mekong Hotel

Galaxy
An upscale Lao live music bar. Chic crowd and professional service. Only if you are into local music.

Read my full review: Galaxy.

There are a few more nightclubs in Vientiane: Heartbeat (Live Music and DJ), Catwalk (Live music), Impeng Hotel (Live music), What's Club (Didn't visit), Xscape Club and KTV (click to read my review) or Ton Khao Restaurant & Club (far and very local but packed).

Meeting Lao Girls
Meeting with Lao girls is not so difficult if you go to the right places. They will generally be open to talk with foreigners and interested to develop long term relationships.

The best places for that in my opinion are Wind West, Marina, Gold Star, Mark Two, Musso, I-Beam and Phoenix.

You can also use online dating sites and apps, but the pool of available girls is limited. As of February 2017, Tinder had around 100 profiles (including 20 foreign girls), Badoo around 200 (but many idle profiles). Asia Dating did not even have one girl (even though it normally has the largest number of Asian girls).

It will be much more difficult if you want to bring a Lao girl to your room. As you may have read, sex between unmarried foreigners and Lao girls is officially forbidden. Even though the law is widely ignored, it gives you an idea of what the local mindset is like.

The worst part is that few hotels are girl-friendly, meaning they will refuse any late-night guest who wasn't part of the original booking.

You can avoid this problem by booking a room in girl-friendly hotel. They often have poor ratings but at least they won't bother you with your private life. Some of them in Vientiane are:
Lao Plaza Hotel (5-star, centrally located, but expensive = 150$ per night)
City Inn (4-star, a bit run-down but still rated 7.8/10, = 70$ per night)
Mekong BreezeHeuang Chaleun, La Ong Dao 1 and La Ong Dao 2: Poorly rated but cheap girl-friendly hotels in Vientiane (between 20$ and 40$ per night).

There are also at least 3 hotels with nightclubs/KTV that have the reputation of providing prostitutes. They are Tihao Hotel (Dihai KTV), Inpeng Hotel (Inpeng Club) and Mekong Hotel (Mittaphab KTV).

Vientiane Nightlife Map
I've added every bars and clubs mentioned in this review on the following map:

Marina Nightclub (Vientiane - Laos)

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
Marina is the best nightclub in Vientiane as of 2017 (my second favorite would be Gold Star).

It is located on Luang Prabang Road, 3 kilometers from the tourist area so you'll need to ride a tuk-tuk (20,000-30,000 kip maximum). As you arrive, you'll see a mini-traffic jam with some luxury cars.

Maybe because it is far, there is almost no foreigners who visit it (apart from Thais and Chinese). That's too bad because it would challenge a few stereotypes they might have about "sleepy" Vientiane.

Anyway, I was glad to be the only foreigner as you naturally get more attention. Marina was packed with girls, most of whom were well-dressed and looking stylish. They were often with large group of friends with a bottle around a table. Many guys were gay so it's very easy to approach them first and then talk to their girlfriends. If you want the easy way, there are also some freelance prostitutes.

Prices are quite low, only 18,000 kip for a beer and 330,000 kip for a bottle of whisky (red label). No entrance fee. No smoking inside.

The dress code stipulates no shorts and no sandals but I saw a few inside. The DJs play commercial EDM and clubbing anthems. On other nights they may also have hip-hop and Rn'B.

I shot this video inside with my phone:
Overall: A big, luxurious nightclub in Vientiane. Very recommended if you want to meet fun, upper class Laotian girls. There is also a bowling alley in the same complex.

Note: It seems another nightclub is being built next to Marina at the moment. If you have more information about it, please leave a comment below!

Opening Hours:
Every day from 9PM to 3AM (2AM on weekdays)

Marina Night Club
Luang Prabang Road (after Setthatitraht Road)

Facebook (with pictures and upcoming events): Marina Vientiane

@Home Nightclub (Vientiane - Laos)

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
@Home (or At Home) is one of the popular nightclubs in Vientiane, particularly among foreigners (expats and tourists).

It is quite large but it was only half-full when I visited it on a Saturday night. I'm not really sure I understand why expats like to go there instead of Marina or Gold Star. Maybe it is for the girls (among which some were definitely hookers), maybe it's for the music (a mix of trance-techno).

The entrance was free and the price of drinks is standard for a Vientiane nightclub (25,000 for a beer, 40,000 for cocktails).

You can smoke inside and you can probably get some drugs as well.

You can get an idea of the atmosphere inside by watching this video I shot:
Overall: A foreigner-oriented nightclub with girls to pick up and good music. I prefer Marina or Gold Star, but since @Home is on the way, you can have a quick look.

@Home Nightclub
Souphanouvong Avenue, Vientiane, Laos

Phone number: 020 55 444 555
Email: somsanouks@gmail.com

Facebook: Home Club

Opening Hours:
Every day until 2AM

Romeo Nightclub and The Pavilion Music Hall (Vientiane)

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
Romeo and The Pavilion is a nightlife complex in Vientiane consisting of a nightclub (Romeo), a live music hall (The Pavilion), a beer garden, a restaurant and a karaoke.

It is quite far from the city center (at least 5 kilometers) but still, I wanted to check it as it seemed to be popular with the local elite. In particular, it targets the Laotian-Chinese community with the same kind of ostentatious, over-the-top design you may have seen elsewhere in Chinese clubs in Asia.

I arrived just before midnight and it was almost deserted. In the nightclub: Nobody. In the beer garden: Nobody. In the live music hall: Maybe just 20 people. The staff told me people would come later on but I doubt it.

Judging from the pictures on their Facebook page though, they have some busy nights. I guess it depends on the artists playing on that evening. Don't make the same mistake I did. Before going, check if they have a special event or not.

Overall: Both Romeo and The Pavilion have potential but without customers, it's hard for me to recommend them. If you have visited them yourself, please leave a comment below.

Note: All photos are from Facebook.

Opening Hours:
Every day until 3AM.

Phone number:
02077482222

Address:
I couldn't find the address in English. It is located exactly here on Google Maps. It is just opposite the Inpeng Hotel (where you'll find another nightclub actually).

Mittaphab Club and KTV (Mekong Hotel - Vientiane)

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
Mittaphab Club and KTV is the nightclub of the Mekong Hotel on Souphanouvong Avenue. It is about 500 meters from the tourist center.

I saw it as I was walking by and I decided to have a quick look. The entrance was free and I just had one beer (25,000 kip).

It is a rather large disco but less than 50 clients were there. It is a bit old-fashioned: You have a podium for the live band, a dance floor just in front of it, and used sofas all around.

The music was Laotian. The male customers were above 50, with some Chinese, but most girls were in their early 20s (except a few older ladies). Obviously, they were hostesses from the karaoke next door. In fact, after a quick research on internet I discovered that the Mekong Hotel is a hotspot for prostitution in Vientiane and that girls from the club can be taken to a room. Prices I found were 90,000 kip for bar fine, 300,000 kip for short time and 600,000 kip for long time.

Depending on the song, the customers would all start to dance in groups in a funny way as you can see on this video I took inside:
Overall: Unless you are looking for prostitutes, I don't see any reasons to visit this place. Read my Vientiane Nightlife Guide for better alternatives.

Mittaphab Club et KTV (also spelled Mittapharb and Mittapharp)
Souphanouvong Road Vientiane

Open every day until 12AM

Galaxy Pub & Live Music (Vientiane - Laos)

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
Galaxy Pub is a live music club located on Samsenthai Road in Vientiane. Be careful as it has changed location and it is no longer by the Mekong river.

It is a chic place, with a dressed-up crowd and pretty girls (among which a few ladyboys though) that features live bands singing Laotian pop.

The entrance is free, and if it isn't too crowded the waiters will give you a table. I only had one lao beer for 25,000 kip.

It is a bit cheesy for my taste, but if if you want to meet upper class Laotian girls it could be an option (some of the girls could also be Chinese or Thai, I'm not 100% sure).

You can judge from this video I shot inside if you like it or not:
Galaxy Pub Vientiane
Samsenthai Road
Every day from 8.30 to midnight.

Samlo Pub and Restaurant (Vientiane)

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
Samlo is an expat/tourist pub and restaurant located on Rue Setthathirath in Vientiane. It looks a bit dirty and old, with torn seats and peeling paint, but in a way it adds to its charm.

It is normally fairly busy every night of the week, mostly thanks to regular patrons. They come to play pool or foosball, to watch live sports and to drink cheap beer (small lao for 10,000 kip). There is also Western food (40,000-70,000 kip).

One of the best features of Samlo is the friendly service from (some of) their waitresses. They are not bargirls, yet they can be playful and cute.

There was a prostitute who came to me at some point, asking if I wanted company for the night. She looked really desperate and I felt a bit sorry for her. I suppose she is not the only working girl in Samlo.

Apart from that, the bar allows smoking and it has a good setup for meeting people. The music is not too loud (famous rock and pop songs from the past 40 years). Free Wifi.

Overall: Clearly not a sophisticated bar, but recommended for meeting people if you are alone in Vientiane.

Opening Hours:
Every day from 5PM to 1.30AM

Samlo Pub and Restaurant
101 Sethathirath Road, Vientiane, Laos
Phone number: 020 55 519 097

Facebook: Samlo Bar

XScape Nightclub and Dihao KTV (Ti Hao Hotel) - Vientiane

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
I'm not sure about the exact name of this place. Outside there was a sign saying Dihao Nightclub and KTV, but on google I also saw it spelled Ti Hao, Di Hao or Tihao. Some photos also show a sign with the name Lollipop but for now it has been either removed or turned off. My final conclusion is that the club name is Dihao, that it used to be called Lollipop, and that it is within the Ti Hao Hotel.

Update February 2017: Thanks to the person who commented below, I finally know the club is called XSCAPE.

Anyway, if you want to go there, it is exactly here on Google Maps. It is about 3 kilometers from the tourist center on Asean Road (Vientiane).

The KTV is quite luxurious and caters to Chinese/Thai customers. It is most likely a hidden brothel and I guess you can use the rooms of the hotel for short time activities. No idea about the price.

The nightclub was a bit weird. There was only 5 or 6 girls (lady companions I presume) and no real customers. A black guy married to a French-Lao girl introduced himself as one of the club's owner. We tried to have a conversation but the sound level was so high that we gave up after a few minutes. I wanted to get out at this point but since he was friendly I took a beer (Rp15,000 for a Lao).

The club looks pretty in the dark, but when you look closer, you will see that they glued newspaper pages on the walls. That's really kitsch.

Overall: Small nightclub with loud EDM songs. Very few customers. The only reason to visit is to go to the KTV and get some girls with you.

Opening Hours:
Every day from 10PM to 3AM

Xscape Nightclub (Ti Hao Hotel) - 
Asean Road, Vientiane
Phone number: 021 262 799

Wind West Pub (Vientiane - Laos)

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
Wind West is a popular live music pub located in Rue Setthathirath in downtown Vientiane. It was packed when I visited (Saturday night) with a chic local crowd, and about 10% of foreigners (expats or tourists).

The oldest bar in Vientiane (since 1992), it is housed in an independent building that you can easily spot from the street. There is no entrance fee and a dress code normally applies (no shorts and no sandals, though most foreigners didn't respect the rule).

It is rather dark inside as only the stage is properly lit. As you would have guessed, there is a Western (Cowboys and Indians) theme that some would find a tad kitsch.

What struck me the most upon entering in Wind West was the high number of pretty, well-dressed girls including the waitresses, the bartenders and of course the customers. The latter were obviously open to meet with foreigners and very easy to talk to. I was suspicious they were prostitutes at first, but as far I know, most are just regular girls who want to drink, listen to the music and dance.

I found the live band performing that evening particularly talented. The female singer had an awesome voice and she was mostly singing in English (Top 40). The guy was singing some more boring, folk songs in Laotian as you can see on this video I shot:
Drinks are more expensive that average for Vientiane (but still reasonable). A Leo beer costs 25,000 kip and a cocktail 35,000 kip.

No smoking. They also serve some food (steaks).

Overall: Wind West was one of my favorite nightlife spots in Vientiane. It is walking distance from the main tourist district and you can visit it even if you are alone (just sit at the bar, you'll meet people easily). 

Opening Hours:
Every day until 2AM.

Wind West
Western Pub and Steakhouse
Rue Setthathirath
Phone number: 020 28 103 779

Phoenix Nightclub (Vientiane - Laos)

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
Phoenix nightclub is located on Thadeua Rd, about 3 kilometers from the tourist center in Vientiane (just a few hundred meters after Paris Cocktail). It's easy to spot from the street as it is inside a white, flashy building.

Phoenix is officially targeting an upper class crowd, the "hi-so" (high society) of Laos: It has a modern design, it features guest bands and DJs from Thailand, and they have a strict dress code.

In reality, it is not that stylish. It is quite dark, with mostly young people wearing t-shirts, and the music is boring EDM. Even on a Saturday night at 1AM it was 2/3rd empty.

Prices are standard: 25,000 kip for a beer. You can also buy a Sangria bottle for 70,000 kip. Free entrance.

There are a few pretty girls inside and no foreigners so you may have some opportunities.

Overall: Phoenix is quite far and not really worth it in my opinion compared to Gold Star or Marina. You can check their Facebook page below in case they have any special events though (live music).

This is how the club looks like:
Opening Hours:
Every day until 2AM (3H30AM on Saturday apparently but I may have misunderstood what the security guard said)

Phoenix Nightclub
Thadeua Road, Km 3, Vientiane, Laos
Phone number: 020 227 37771 or 020 55505584
Exact location of Phoenix on Google Map: Click Here.

Gold Star Nightclub - Daokham Hotel (Vientiane)

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
Gold Star is a nightclub in Vientiane, part of the Daokham Hotel complex. On the same location, you'll also find Sam Dao beer garden and Merci karaoke.

The whole site is quite impressive. You arrive through a small road perpendicular to Souphanouvong Avenue, and then suddenly you have this huge, hidden property with hundreds of party-goers.

I had a quick look at the beer garden. Nothing special there, it caters mostly to large groups who also come for eating.

The nightclub is more interesting. It looks similar to Marina, except that the crowd is much younger and less stylish. From what I could guess, at least 10% of the crowd was less than 18 years old. I also saw a handful of foreigners. In total, I would say it can accommodate 500 people.

I think the live band was from Thailand. They played rock song (none of them in English), and during breaks a DJ would mix famous EDM anthems. This is a video I took:
Some people were going really wild and it was quite messy. When I went to the toilet, a guy was throwing up. Outside, a group of guys were dancing in their underwear.

I didn't see so many stunning, well-dressed girls but there are a few (beware as some are ladyboy and/or prostitutes).

Free entrance. Dress code not enforced.

Opening Hours:
Every day until 3AM (2AM on weekdays)

Goldstar Nightclub
Ban Nakham, Sikhottabong, Vientiane, Laos
Phone number: 021-254232-3

Email: goldstar-daokhamhotel@hotmail.com

Exact location on Google Map: Click Here.
Dao Kham Hotel complex from outside
Merci Karaoke