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Vientiane Entertainment Guide - For fun, recreation, and relaxation

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Although not comparable to other Southeast Asian centers for entertainment, Vientiane has a surprising number of options for getting active. The Mekong River is the focus for cyclists and tubers — being dropped off upstream and floating toward town with a beer onboard is hard to beat.

You can also go for a traditional Lao herbal sauna at a prominent temple or have aches and pains relieved with the kneading process of Lao massage. Doing a complete walking tour of the city appeals to the discerning type, where you can take in its colonial buildings and ancient temples. Vientiane nightlife is evident yet laid-back.

Tubing the Mekong

Adventure tour companies in town will take you out to the Nam Xong River, a few miles upstream, from where you simply float back into town aboard a car tire tube. It has to be one of the most relaxing activities there is although is best avoided during the hottest hours of the day. You can also stop off en-route to stock up on snacks and drinks. Tubing is popular with all ages.

Lao herbal sauna, massage and spas

Although nothing on the scale of neighboring Thailand's city's, Vientiane has a decent amount of places to unwind and enjoy a massage, spa or sauna Lao style. Lao massage is quite rough, as with Thai-style massage, while the herbal saunas at Sokpaluang Temple are unique.

Walking tours

You can take in the best of Vientiane on foot, discerning its French colonial look, which contrasts with traditional Lao buildings and Buddhist temples. The best thing is Vientiane is nice and compact and can be seen fully in a few hours. 


Cycling the banks of the Mekong River is fun and a popular route goes along the north bank of the river via Tha Deua, Bo O village and Hat Dong Keo village. The views are awesome and it is a nice change from the city. You can come back via the main road, with the entire journey taking a leisurely three hours or so. 


The nightlife in Vientiane is laid-back and comes with a curfew at 00:00, although many places stay open until 00:30 to 01:00. If you plan on partying out of town, such as in the KM4 district, be sure to pre-arrange a taxi as transport can be tough to get late at night. An alternative is to drink Beer Lao on the banks of the Mekong. 

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