Best Things to Do in Vientiane After Dark
5 Fun Things to Do in Vientiane After Dark
Content: If you’re visiting a new city, you want to explore all that city has to offer. Different attractions come to life after the sun goes down in every city in the world, and Vientiane is no exception. The most popular places to go and things to do in Vientiane, Laos, are well-established and frequented by locals and expats alike. The "everyone's welcome" vibe, as well as the music, ambiance, and food and drink, make our suggestions perfect for travelers wanting to see the sights of Vientiane after dark. They provide visitors with a warm and colorful insight into the life of the city’s inhabitants. Here are five of the most famous and lively nightspots in the city:
Vientiane Night Market
Right down along the riverfront is the largest open-air market in the city. It’s one of the most popular things to do in Vientiane and a great place to start your evening’s exploration, watching the sun set over the river. Wander among the stalls and browse the handicrafts, toys, shoes, clothes and electronic gear. Why not pick up some souvenirs to take home with you! This is also a great place to sample some of the best Lao street food in the city, and the aromas from the food stalls are impossible to resist. The market is open from 6 PM to 9:30 PM.
Lao Bowling Centre
The Lao Bowling Centre is a vibrant place where the emphasis is on having fun, and the sport of bowling comes second. It’s one of the best things to do in Vientiane, just for the colorful experience. You’ll find barefoot bowlers as well as those wearing rented bowling shoes, plus a wide range of unorthodox bowling styles as well! Enjoy the loud music, pool and snooker tables, and the bar area where you can take in the scene with a cold beer or a cocktail. If you're really serious about bowling, head there before 10 PM so you can get a lane to yourself. Things rev up after that, and it can get lively. But that is the main point of visiting. It’s open late too, after most other places have closed in Vientiane. Lao Bowling Centre is open from 9 AM to 2 AM.
The Spirit House Bar & Restaurant
This venerable restaurant is located in an old wooden Lao-style house with a stylish interior, situated right on the river. The open terrace looks out over the river and is a favorite meeting place for locals and expats to enjoy an evening out under the stars. Its menu features both Lao food and pub-style western fare, and the bar is famous for its range of exotic mixed drinks containing such ingredients as pickled ginger and green tea. It's also a great place to enjoy a range of international beers and wines with friends while listening to the quality background music while you gaze out at the river. With opening hours from 7 AM to 11 PM, this is also an excellent place to come early in the morning for a western breakfast.
Chokdee Café and Belgian Beer Bar
This is one of the most original bars in the city and one of the best things to do in Vientiane for a bit of variety. The bar boasts over 40 Belgian beers, in addition to being a carnivore’s paradise. This is a place where you should make a point of visiting without eating beforehand. Burgers, steaks, sausages, kebabs, and beef stew all come with a mountain of frites (Belgian fries). They are also famous around town for their giant bowls of imported mussels from New Zealand. This is a raucous, noisy and fun place where the tables have taken over the sidewalk, and there is a lively regular crowd that banters with the warm and friendly staff. It’s also a great place for lunch. Chokdee Café is usually open from 10 AM to 11 PM, but it's closing at 7 PM during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Elephant Lounge
One of the most cosmopolitan and popular places in Vientiane with both residents and expats, is the Elephant Lounge at the Crowne Plaza Vientiane hotel. This venue on the first floor of the hotel offers a superb high tea in the afternoon where business people can entertain guests over exquisite fresh pastries, Lao coffee, and an assortment of teas. But once work is done for the day, the Elephant Lounge turns into a prime meeting place for Vientiane’s most prominent individuals. A visit to the Elephant Lounge is the thing to do in Vientiane for business people. They gather as much for the cozy ambiance and modern décor as for the impressive, wide-ranging menu of cocktails, wines, beers, fruit juices and spirits, including Crowne Plaza Vientiane’s own signature whiskey. Get yourself a table after dark at the Elephant Lounge, order a few snacks and a drink and experience the upscale magic and atmosphere of one of the most elegant and comfortable lounges in the city. Their operating hours are from 12 PM to 8 PM. While Vientiane is a fascinating city by day, exploring the city after dark means you’re able to see the true character and warmth of life there. These are just a few of the many nightspots that are worthy of a visit. The next time you’re in the city on business or simply there for pleasure, be sure to put some time aside to experience the magic of Vientiane at night.