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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

      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

  • Holiday Houseboys UTOPIA VERIFIED DEC 2018
      WhatsApp: +94-76 630 1069, email

      Select a personal city tour guide to show you around. Speaking the local language, your guide will look after your safety and welfare, as well as ensure that you get the best deals and local flavor. He does the bargaining for you, carries your shopping, and makes sure you won't get ripped off. He will schedule each day based on your personal interests. Holiday Houseboys is all about getting the most out of your holiday with a friendly local guy.
      Utopia Member Benefit: 15% DISCOUNT.
      Add your review, comment, or correction

Popular Spots


      Click here for Luang Prabang hotels and accommodations.


    • Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden UTOPIAN VERIFIED MAR 2018
        071-261-000, 030-286-6000

        Gay-owned botanical garden and cafe. They organise many social activities during the year on issues for local LGBT. Lovely cafe with food. A nice alternative to the crowded Tad Kuang Si Waterfalls. Their boat leaves every hour from their in-town reception to bring you to the gardens on a lovely 15-minute cruise on the Mekong. First boat leaves at 9am, last boat back 5:30pm. Reception and ticket office is located on the Mekong in Ban Wat That. Open Thu-Tue, 8am-6pm (closed Wed).
        Add your review, comment, or correction

Bars and Clubs

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

        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

      Comments from Utopians:

      "There aren't any real gay bars, but worth mentioning are: RedBul bar and restaurant. Gay-owned and friendly bar with food and a small terrace, pool table and friendly staff, younger crowd; and IKON Club, not gay-owned or specifically gay, but definitely a cool bar where owner, Lisa, shakes good cocktails (opposite Mat's Wine Bar)." -- S.H., Mar 25, 2018



Massage and Spas

    • Red Cross Massage UTOPIAN VERIFIED APR 2018
        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:

      "Although there are no specific gay massage places in Luang Prabang, I can recommend the already mentioned Red Cross (listed above) and also Peninsula Massage and Sauna. The owner, Mrs Somchit, is a licensed physio therapist and the massage is very strong. The sauna is clean and a nice place to enjoy the view on the Mekong from the balcony and hang out with locals. In the main street there are two places that have good staff. Sabay Sabay Spa, next to the Pavillion de Jade shop (which, by the way, has beautiful hand died and hand woven silks) and Lotus du Laos, a few doors down from Dexter Café (which is a nice place for food and drinks). More upscale, good spas are L' Hibiscus Massage & Spa next to the lovely Banneton French bakery, and Frangipani Spa. I would avoid the mssage parlours on the Mekong river bank." -- S.H., Apr 11, 2018

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

    • Cafe Kaipen (Lao and western cuisine) UTOPIA VERIFIED OCT 2018

    • Coconut Garden UTOPIAN VERIFIED JUL 2014

    • 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)

        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)

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