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Travel & Resources: VIENTIANE

Please help us keep these listings up-to-date. Special thanks to Jeff, markyek, bbox, Monte, DOO, OscarO, WhiteHCMC, pororoca, greekman, Markeyboy, stuurhuttom, Shally, paradasian, alexbam, Kelvin W, Mark, smoothshaver, Travelo, Charles, Eric B, Max N., Dennis M, Kelvin, Peter, Ronald, Sam, Allan, Wang, John and Ton!

VIENTIANE -- area code +856-21

General Information

    The capital city of Laos is a short ride from the border with Thailand at Nongkhai. It is very easy to visit Vientiane, even for a day. There is a shuttle bus from the Thai side of the friendship bridge which will take you across to Laos. The Visa-on-arrival office however is not always open, so be sure to check before you cross or you may not be able to enter Laos.

Vientiane Buddhas (c) by John C. Goss

    The Mekong river divides a community of people who are basically Esarn culturally. Everyone in Vientiane can speak and understand Thai. They all listen to Thai pop music, watch Thai TV, and it is relatively easy for the Lao to cross over to Thailand. On the Thai side of the river, people listen to Lao country songs and speak Lao. The most noticeable distinctions from Thai-Esarn are the bright red dirt roads which slice through an abundance of trees and wildflowers which have long since vanished from Thai farms and gardens. You may also notice that Lao temples are more animistic, colorful, and free-form compared with the institutionalized decor and behaviors in Thai temples. In general, Laos appears lush, natural and carefree.

    Vientiane has a frontier town feel to it, with its drowsy lanes, ever-spreading gardens, and French-colonial villas slowly fading into sepia-tinted retirement.

Vientiane Statue (c) by John C. Goss

    There are lots of clubs, karaoke bars, discos, and restaurants in town that appeal to local gays and lesbians. Nightlife swings until early morning.

    The population of the capital city is about 800,000 (that's over 30,000 Utopians).

Travel Services

      Setthathirath Rd
      +856 202-286-4488, email

      Gay and lesbian-friendly auto rental, self-drive or with diver included.
      Utopia Member Benefit: 10% DISCOUNT when you book via the email above and show your member card on arrival.

      020-5655-6341, email

      Ken offers an efficient and moderately priced aircon taxi service. He can greet at the airport, drive to all Vientiane tourist sites, and drive to other Lao cities like Luang Prabang.
      Add your review, comment, or correction

Popular Spots


    Vientiane Folk Art Park (c) by John C. Goss

    • Don't miss the mysterious, fantastical folk-sculpture garden (see picture above), just a short drive south from the Friendship Bridge, which is the older sibling to Wat Kaeg on the Thai side of the Mekong.
      Add your review, comment, or correction

    • Several temples offer traditional Lao herbal saunas which are open to the public and good places to relax with the locals. Braver sorts might enjoy a relaxing work-over at Ajarn Amphone's Herbal Sauna on Anjou Street (1 block northwest of the Tai-pan hotel) which includes an hour-long Shaolin massage by a Kung Fu master, including welt-inducing vacuum cups.
      Add your review, comment, or correction

Bars and Clubs

    • Lak Song
        Sene Souk Hotel nightclub, 100 Louangprabang Rd

        Popular disco attracts a young crowd. Standing room only on Sat nights. Some prefer to go other nights when it is less crowded and conversations are possible. Closes at midnight.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • The Lao Cafe UTOPIA VERIFIED FEB 2023
        Sihom Rd (near Rue Setthathilath and Khun Bu Lom Rd and Wat Inpeng monastery)
        +856 20-7801-4492

        An outdoor terrace, a downstairs bar, and an upstairs stage for their weekend cabaret shows featuring the likes of Lady Gaga and Edith Piaf. Sample a wide range of drinks and music ­ pop, electronic, disco, house, techno, R&B, lounge, oldies and alternative. Staff provide a warm welcome and great service. Free Wi-fi. Open nightly 7:30pm-late, with Happy Hour from 7:30-9:30pm. Drag shows every Fri and Sat night and regular theme parties.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • The Office Bar UTOPIA VERIFIED MAR 2023
        001/006-05 Sihom Rd (near the intersection of Khun Bu Lom Rd and Rue Samsenthai)
        +856 20-9633-6969

        A few doors down from The Lao Cafe. Gay-owned, but not specifically a gay bar. The place is tastefully decorated with bar seating, a few high-top tables, and a couch. Additional seating outside on the patio area off the sidewalk. Drink offerings are written on repurposed wooden doors that hang on the wall with other art pieces. The bar is stocked with the basics and has 30+ bottled beer options in the cooler. Additionally you can order a fresh fruit smoothie if alcohol isn't your thing. Patrons are a mix of expats and locals. You might be served your drink by the upbeat and fun owner, Nai. The bar is pleasant, with a mix of music and decor, friendly people, and not too loud that conversation is impossible. Open 11am to 2am daily.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

        Comments from Utopians:

        "I ran across this gay-owned bar during my visit last month. Just opened this past spring." -- Reinold, Nov 9, 2022


    • Don Chan Palace Hotel nightclub UTOPIAN VERIFIED MAR 2018

Massage for Men

    • Champa Spa UTOPIAN VERIFIED JUN 2015

        This is a well-managed business, now with three locations in Champa Spa 1 (corner of Fa Ngum Rd and Pangkham Rd (021-251-926), Champa Spa 2 (corner of Samsenthai Rd and Pangkham Rd, 021-215-203), and Champa Spa 3 (Manthaturat Rd, 021-212-116). Champa Spa 2 is the biggest of the three branches and the best place to start. Clean private rooms with ensuite bathrooms. Outcallscan be arranged, but their outcall surcharge is steep by Vientiane standards. All locations are open from 9am-10pm, and the male and female therapists work interchangeably at all three.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

Meeting Places

Restaurants and Cafes

    • Benoni Café UTOPIA VERIFIED JUN 2015
        Rue Setthathilath (next to Joma)

        Wide-ranging menu: all breakfasts, hamburgers, Asia food (such as pad thai). Good aircon. At the rear is the must-visit Phimphone Market, offering a useful array of travel necessities and supermarket items.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • Bistrot 22 (French) UTOPIA VERIFIED JUN 2015
        Samsenthai Rd, Ban Khaonyot (behind the Catholic cathedral)
        021-214-129, 020-5552-7286

        Fine food at a reasonable price. A bit out of the way, but worth the effort.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • Delhi Durbar (Indian) UTOPIA VERIFIED JUN 2015
        Rue Bourichane (near the Thai Consulate)
        021-410-013, 020-2824-9501

        Taxi required, as it's in the suburbs. Unlike the other Indian venues in Vientiane, Delhi Durbar has the food presentation and ambiance of an Indian restaurant in a large Western metropolis.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • Joma Bakery Café UTOPIA VERIFIED JUN 2015
        Rue Setthathilath (near the Nam Phou fountain)

        Once the king of Vientiane cafes, but now facing strong competition from Benoni (next door) and Le Banneton.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • Kua Lao (Lao) UTOPIA VERIFIED JUN 2015
        111 Samsenthai Rd
        021-215-777, 021-214-813

        High-end restaurant for tourists who want to try Lao cuisine but to a high standard of cleanliness. Traditional Lao musicians.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • L'Adresse de Tinay (French) UTOPIAN VERIFIED AUG 2019

    • L'Opera (Italian) UTOPIA VERIFIED JUN 2015
        Nam Phou Square
        021-215-099, 021-217-265

        Quality food in a traditional Italian ambiance, with Pavarotti and Domingo singing in the background. Try their special Lao Pizza and their tagliolini salsiccia, cacio e pepe (ribbon pasta with sausage, pecorino and black pepper in cream). The very jolly Pino has been in charge for more than twenty years.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • La Gondola Italian Restaurant (Italian) UTOPIAN VERIFIED JUN 2015
        Behind the Lao Plaza Hotel

        A good quality Italian restaurant, owned and run by an Italian guy and his Lao partner. The manager is a very friendly gay guy. The food and the ambience are good - linen tablecloths and napkins. Reasonable wine list. Staff are very friendly though most are not gay.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • La Signature (French and American) UTOPIA VERIFIED JUN 2015
        Ansara Hotel

        It has a very welcoming outdoor terrace and an aircon room upstairs. Fine dining. The impressive set menu of three courses is inexpensive.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • Moon the Night (Lao) UTOPIA VERIFIED JUN 2015
        Thanon Kamkon (on the banks of the Mekong)

        About 10 minutes drive from the Mercure Hotel. The easiest way to get there is by tuk-tuk (it's well-known among the locals). This restaurant can get packed full of good looking Lao young people. They play some very gay songs, i.e. I Will Survive, Can't Take my Eyes Off of You, etc. Lots of fun.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • Pimenton (steakhouse) UTOPIA VERIFIED JUN 2015

      Comments from Utopians:

      "The gay owner of The Office shas opened Vientiane's only Moroccan restaurant, Cafe Fes, on 2/F above his bar (see under Bars & Clubs). It offers a mix of Moroccan and Spanish dishes on an extensive menu that also includes pastillas and paellas, as well as halal and vegan options. Special Moroccan-themed cocktails, are available for the thirsty. For dessert, a variety of home-cooked pastries make an excellent accompaniment. The homemade ice cream also stands out, particularly the smoky-sweet fig glacé. Look for the fes-adorned gentleman waiting outside to escort you upstairs. Open from 5:30-10pm Thu-Mon, and weekday lunch from 11am-2:30pm (closed Tue)." -- Reinold, Nov 9, 2022


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