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Travel & Resources: LUANG PRABANG

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LUANG PRABANG -- area code +856-71

General Information

    Visitors to Southeast Asia should not miss a chance to visit this UNESCO World Heritage city nestled between the Mekong river and verdant jungle mountains. Visitors are delighted by the city's authentic ambience, the traditional lifestyle intrinsic to its singular charm, and the wealth of cultural treasures from the everyday lives of its monks, hilltribes, merchants, and craftsmen.

    There is a surprising gay presence in the city, and even some low key, easy-going nightlife. But it is still a small town and everyone knows everybody else's business. Don't come here expecting to party. Luang Prabang is a place to relax, heal, chill-out and reflect. Everyone is generally asleep by midnight and up at dawn to feed the monks. Click here for more details and photos in our special report on this former royal capital.

    The population of Luang Prabang is 26,000 (that's over 1,000 Utopians).


Travel Services

  • Galaxy Airticketing UTOPIAN VERIFIED JUL 2014
      020-5624-4266

      A well-run car-and-driver service, operated by Bandid "Did" Amphanvilai, who can do day-trips to waterfalls and other places outside Luang Prabang.
      Add your review, comment, or correction


Popular Spots

Accommodations

      Click here for Luang Prabang hotels and accommodations.


Bars and Clubs

    • Boat Bar UTOPIAN VERIFIED JUL 2014
        071-212-603

        Gay-owned bar on Sisavangvong Rd in the main area of restaurants, on the opposite side of the road to the Mekong River. The bar is very tastefully decorated with great music playing and offers meals and drinks with a good selection of wines. Very friendly.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • Chez Matt UTOPIAN VERIFIED JUL 2014
        Located on the short side street from Sisavangvong Rd down to the Couleur Cafe
        020-7777-9497

        Gay-owned bar. A particularly wide range of drinks, cute staff and a pleasant ambience. Fine food can be brought from L'Elephant, the Cafe Ban Vat Sene, or the Coconut Garden, all of which are nearby.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • La Pistoche UTOPIAN VERIFIED JUL 2014
        Ban Phong Pheng
        020-5510-4817

        This is basically a swimming pool with bar service. The week's highlight is the breakdancing competition every Sat at 2pm. Mixed crowd, but cruisy. Open 10am-7pm.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • Lao Lao UTOPIAN VERIFIED JUL 2014

        Over the road from Lao Lao Garden, with the same owners. A bar and pool table, with chairs around the room. Best later at night (which in Luang Prabang means after 9pm). The staff - and the guys looking after the motorbikes outside - are good sources of info on the local gay scene (such that it is).
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • Lao Lao Garden UTOPIAN VERIFIED JAN 2017

    • Pack Luck Wine Bar
        Sakkarine Rd

        Same owners as Lao Lao Garden. Gay friendly with some gay staff. Aupscale, yet relaxed, place to have some good wines and meet fellow travelers and expat residents.
        Add your review, comment, or correction


Discos


Karaoke


Massage and Spas

    • Red Cross Massage UTOPIAN VERIFIED JUN 2016
        Red Cross complex

        Herbal steam sauna and cool-off veranda where you may sip special herbal tea or get an incredibly inexpensive massage. Very down-to-earth, relaxing, and authentic. Not gay, but it has a discreet gay vibe. You will most likely meet local gays or gay tourists here. Massage from 9am. Sauna opens at 4pm and closes at 9pm. Completely renovated in 2015.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • Satri House

      Comments from Utopians:

      "Dhammada Massage Oasis is not gay or private any more. Had a good, intimate massage two years ago. Now, they moved next door with little privacy. Stupidly, I did the message any way. My masseur was bored and acted disgusted. So was I. Go to the Red Cross instead. Better message for 1/3 the price and time it right and it's private." -- Gray, Jun 10, 2016


Restaurants and Cafes

    • 3 Nagas Restaurant UTOPIA VERIFIED APR 2015

    • The Apsara (Lao and international fusion) UTOPIAN VERIFIED JUL 2014
        Kingkitsarath Rd, Baan Wat Sene
        212-420, email

        From Villa Santi, walk down the hill towards the Khan River (opposite side of the Peninsula from the the Mekong) and make a left. The Apsara restaurant and guesthouse is a couple blocks down. At night it glimmers with candlelight. Located in a lovingly renovated heritage building overlooking the river. Stylish decor blends funky Asian elements, bold color and fine art. Well-stocked bar, smart and attentive staff, and excellent menu accent the local lifestyle. After dinner tuck into a fabulous dessert like coconut lime pie drizzled with home-made quince sauce, or sink back in the lounge seating for cocktails, conversation, and chill-out music.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • Bougnasouk Restaurant and Bar
        01/03 Ban Xieng Mouane, Khem Kong Rd (near the boat landing on the Mekong River)

        Gay-friendly owner has designed a very romantic place with nice river views. The food is excellent and the prices reasonable.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • Coconut Garden UTOPIAN VERIFIED JUL 2014

    • Couleur Café (French and Lao) UTOPIAN VERIFIED JUL 2014
        48/5 Ban Vat Nong
        020-621-064, email

        Gay-owned and staffed café near the Mekong and Café Regine. Open nightly, with reasonably priced drinks and food. Charming setting in an old heritage home, open to the street and colorfully decorated. Cool, jazzy music. Popular with visitors and local gays alike. The name refers to luscious coffee-colored skin tones.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • The House Restaurant & Bar (Belgian cuisine)
        Phousi Rd (Nam Khan Riverside)
        071-255-021, email

        Next door to Lao Lao Garden. The House is a gay and lesbian-friendly restaurant and bar with great food, cocktails and wine. Their Belgian chef cooks up specialties like lasagna, beef stews, tasty fries and Belgian chocolate desserts. Plenty for vegetarians as well, plus an appealing range of Belgian beers. Cooler inside seating when the weather is hot and a lovely terrace full of flowers. For every budget. Cute staff. Quality cuisine at an excellent price. They would also like to be an information center to gays and lesbians about do's and don'ts in Laos.
        Utopia Member Benefit: 10% DISCOUNT off food bill on presentation of member card.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

      L'Elephant Restaurant et Salon de thé (Lao and international fine dining) UTOPIAN VERIFIED JUL 2014
        Ban Vat Nong (on the corner opposite Wat Nong)
        252-482, email

        Sophisticated cuisine incorporating the freshest local ingredients, full bar and fine wines, and utterly delectable sweets. The setting is elegant with striking design (even their bathroom sets a standard for beauty and cleanliness). Excellent service from charming waiters and friendly management. Don't miss a chance to dine here (and also, check out the beautiful hand woven silks in the shop next door).
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • Le Café Ban Vat Sene (coffee shop)
        On the main road, opposite and down a bit from Villa Santi

        Up-market and gay-friendly hang-out serving good Lao and international food, baked goods (great croissants) and fantastic pastries (try the banana pie!). Superior Lao craft items on sale as well. Handsome waiters are oh so charming.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • Luang Prabang Bakery

    • Park Houay Mixay Restaurant (Lao and Luang Prabang)
        75/6 Ban Sothikhoummane Rd (not far from Wat Paa Phai)
        212-260

        Some of the best local cuisine in town. Be sure to try a Luang Prabang style salad made from fresh watercress. Other great dishes: plaa brio waan (fish in thick, pungent sweet and sour tamarind paste); sí ooa (spicy northern pork sausage); mook plaa (herbed fish soufflé); poa naw mai (stuffed bamboo shoot); and the local specialty -- kai pan (crispy riverweed with sesame) dipped in jao bong (buffalo skin jam).
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • Restaurant Vouthi Mixay (Lao and Luang Prabang)

      Comments from Utopians:

      "La Silapa is the only Italian/Lao restaurant in Luang Prabang. Gay-owned and gay friendly. Sometimes they have parties, sometimes just dinner with good pizza, Italian food or Lao food cook by Italian and Lao chefs. It's in front Wat Aham." -- Set, Dec 19, 2016




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