Luang Prabang nightlife

Luang Prabang is not a destination for those who want to spend their evenings getting messed up and days recuperating from the previous night’s shenanigans. That’s not to say it can’t be fun and as wild as you want to make it. Luang Prabang is decidedly morning orientated – the majority of the locals are in bed for 22:00, rising at 05:00. Staggering home with last night's clothes on while this is happening is not such a great idea.

There are, however, a few small establishments that stay open past midnight where conversation and beer flow in harmony.

The first thing tourists should expect here is that there is little partying or nightlife in the traditional sense in Luang Prabang. Part of its appeal is that the streets clear around 7 or 8 pm, candles can be seen from various restaurants and homes and it is silent enough to hear the river trickling by.

That being said, the best way to spend the nigh in Luang Prabang is to go to one of the many splendid, family-run restaurants situated on the main roads. While there is an assortment of French and English options, travelers should make an effort to try the intriguing and tasty Laotian cuisine, complete with curries, laab (ground meat with onion salad), and the requisite sticky rice. Here one can enjoy a refreshing cocktail and meal al-fresco and really feel at ease. Sometimes, from a house or porch, one can hear local playing traditional loatian songs (this may be one of the last places where Britney Spears and pop culture has not yet invaded). Ban Wat That, which is in the east side of town and home to many backpacker options, there are some bars that are affiliated with some of the backpacker places.  In Xiang Thong, there are several laid-back options, such as Le Tam Tam Garden (tel: 253-300), with a pool table. The Hive Bar is also pretty popular with the foreign tourists, serving late night snakes and drinks.

There are two nightclubs in Luang Prabang, called the Dao Fa Nightclubor Duang Champaon the outskirts of town. These clubs are where DJs can be heard playing Laotian pop music and where youth can be seen dancing. Even these venues however close early, at 12 am, compared to other types of South East Asian cities.