Luang Prabang: Places to drink 2/2

Here is a list of places for drinks at night

 

Icon Klub

This little bar, located just off Sisavangvong Road after passing all the restaurants, is just great. Or to be precise, it is my favourite bar in SEA, and one of my overall favourite drinking places I have ever visited.

Maybe it has something to do with the interesting interior – all done by the Hungarian owner Lisa. Make sure you take the time to check out the quotes and pictures.

But the main reason why this bar is so special is Lisa. She ensures that there is a very relaxed atmosphere. Sit down at the bar and she will ensure that everyone around you is introduced – which helps to have some great conversations with everyone. Lisa in the meantime prepares some great cocktails – if you are unsure what you want ask…she can make some good recommendations (I had a variety of different drinks she recommended and enjoyed them all!).  And of course, it is just interesting and fun just to talk to Lisa – she is just a wonderful person. I never managed to get out before the place was closed, and always had my best evenings there.

If you travel on your own it is a nice change to experience this kind of welcome in a bar. It was just a great, friendly atmosphere – without the loud music you hear everywhere else – you could listen to more relaxed, independent music and still have a conversation. Or you could play cheese or other games available. There couldn’t be a bigger contrast to Utopia.

Yes – It is not a typical Laos bar, it is slightly more expensive – but the atmosphere, the other patrons and Lisa makes this a very special place, and I have to say it is probably one of my favourite bars I have ever been to (and not just in Laos). If I have to recommend one place in LP to visit for a drink, it would be without a doubt Icon Klub.

(Visited October 2012 and November 2014)

 

Utopia

This is the most popular place for backpackers, located in a side alley off near h Road. It is signed out otherwise it would be very difficult to find.

Utopia has an interesting set up. There are several seating arrangements next to the bar, all covered by a roof. Heading out to the garden there are more seats, and they have carpets and some very comfortable cushion seats overlooking the Nam Khan river. There is also a beach volleyball field.

At night the place is usually packed with backpackers enjoying their drinks here, and get the chance to meet other travellers. They also have occasionally visiting DJs taking care of the music. I must admit it is fun to watch others trying to play beach volleyball..some with more success than others. So for anyone looking for a busy place to have drinks and meeting others Utopia is a very good choice. However, it can be a little bit too much. It is a personal preference I guess

During the day Utopia is very quiet, but thanks to the nice seats overlooking the river it is a great place for a little break just to relax a little bit.

One warning though, you have to take your shoes off when entering Utopia. Make sure you know where you put them as I met a few people who couldn’t find their shoes again.

If you stay in LP I would suggest to head there at least once to check it out.

(Visited October 2012 and November 2014)

 

Bowling Alley

When all the bars close in the Old Town before midnight, one of the few options to go afterwards is the Bowling Alley located just outside of Luang Prabang, which opens till 2am. To get there you need songthaew, as it is a 20-30 minute ride away. It will cost approximate 20.000 Kip per person if you are a little group.

The main activity at the alley is obvious bowling, and you find over 10 lanes there. Of course they sell beer and vodka – with a higher margin than in town. So you will be able to continue drinking there. In addition they sell overpriced but mediocre pizza (50.000 Kip for cheese and tomato pizza). However, the atmosphere was very nice and bowling at late hours when drunk can be a very entertainment exercise. I think f you like having a late night the bowling alley should also be visited once during a stay.

(Visited October 2012 and November 2014) 

 

Hive Bar

One of the bars at NAME along Nam Khan river is the Hive Bar – the bar is recommended on a few travel sites. They some seats in the front, and a few tables inside, but the highlight for me was the lovely beer garden at the back of the bar. It was nicely decorated with a few trees and comfortable seats. It seems they do shows in the evening, but I missed the one when I visited the bar. It was much quieter than Utopia, so it i a nice alternative when looking for a beer garden for a beer or cocktail.

(Visited  November 2014) 

 

Bars on Sisavangvong Road

At the end of night market away from the tourist information you find plenty of bars on Sisavangvong Road. When the streets are busy early evening or after dinner they are good options to sit outside, having and drink and enjoy a popular activity – people watching. Prices are slightly higher, but one of the bars might be worth a beer or two in the evening.

(Visited  November 2014) 

 

Night clubs

I was told there are two night clubs in Luang Prabang (outside the Old Town, but I only have been to one. It was located on the way towards the bowling alley, and was rather popular with locals. If you get there around 11pm, when most tourists are still i the Old Town, it is likely that you are one of very few foreigners – which will lead of drinking quite a few beer with the locals. The music was more dance music like, and cheaps were not expesnive. So overall it is an option if you want to experiecen clubbing in Laos. back in 2012 it was closing at 12:30am.

(Visited  October 2012) 

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