Smile Beach Bar - the best place to relax in Vang Vieng
Smile Beach Bar: one of the coolest spots in Vang Vieng
Vang Vieng was once the party capital of Laos, indeed, of Southeast Asia. Those days are behind it, however, after a series of tourist deaths and government crackdowns forced most of the bars in the tiny little Laotian town to shut their doors.
Today, the town is recovering from its reputation as an alcohol and drug-laden hippie paradise. It’s rebranding itself as an eco-tourism and adventure travel destination.
There are still a few places where you can have a drink, of course, but they are much quieter and more subdued than the way things were five or ten years ago. Smile Beach Bar is probably the best and most popular spot in Vang Vieng.
How to get to Smile Beach Bar, Vang Vieng
Just head through town (there are only three roads) to the rickety-looking (but actually quite sturdy) bridge leading across the river. You’ll soon find yourself in something of a tropical paradise along the banks of the beautiful slow-moving river.
Smile Beach Bar has over twenty little bungalows, complete with hammocks, set up alongside the river. Pick a hammock and make yourself at home. All they ask is that you buy one drink per hour, or three drinks to stay all day. Drinks start at 10.000 kip for a Beer Lao.
Smile Beach Bar Happy Hour
After 5 pm, order one of the bar’s very special “buckets”. Their happy hour comes with a buy-1-get-1 deal. The buckets start at 30.000 kip, and are made with literally half a bottle of Tiger whisky! Be careful!
Even if you don’t want to drink, you can order an iced coffee or mango smoothie, and watch the tubers floating down the river. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a rainbow in the beautiful pollution-free sky.
In the evenings, keep your eyes open for hot air balloons returning to Vang Vieng to land.
At 6 pm, as the sky is beginning to grow dark, Smile Beach Bar will light their daily bonfire!
Vang Vieng is a beautiful town, plagued by an unfortunate reputation that it’s working hard to change. Help be a part of this change! Enjoy the beauty of the nature, and help the town recover from its bad past. It has a lot more to offer than cheap (and very illegal) drugs.