With an enviable location overlooking the riverside, Bor Pen Nyang is one of the most popular bars in Vientiane. It repackages itself for a changing clientele throughout the day so depending on the time of your visit, you will find a chill-out bar, a sunset roof terrace, or, rocking late into the night, a backpacker party venue. Bor Pen Nyang has some real plus points, but some minus points too.
The city centre location and fourth floor roof terrace view overlooking the Mekong River and the Riverside Night Market make it an obvious choice for a few beers after browsing the stalls around sunset. If you are aiming to watch the sunset here, try to arrive quite early as all the prime seats by the balcony are taken first.
At night it is the most lively night spot in the city with a music policy of popular Western tunes and two pool tables that are consistently busy. Anyone who fancies a game must write their name on a whiteboard and wait for the bar staff to come and notify them. The clientele is a ragtag but chatty mix of backpackers, tourists and locals. One of the renowned traits of Vientiane is how easy it is to fall into conversation with complete strangers – something which rarely happens in bigger, busier cities. This trait is especially true in Bor Pen Nyang so it’s a great spot for solo travelers to go and sit at the bar or around the pool table for a rowdy night with new friends.
Although it’s a popular place to grab a bite to eat, there are far better alternatives to be found all over Vientiane. The food isn’t terrible, just expect sauces straight out of a bottle and everything to taste a little bland, but for those who like the convenience of everything under one roof, Bor Pen Nyang does prepare acceptable baguettes and pizzas for around $US4.
A word of warning though: the bar staff consistently make ‘mistakes’ when calculating the bill. Pay close attention to what you have ordered and ask for a menu to double check your bill before paying because the bar is fairly notorious for this. But, as the name of the bar suggests, bor pen nyang – which roughly translated means ‘no problem’ – is the best attitude to take in Laos.
Even in sleepy Vientiane, Bor Pen Nyang ensures there is always somewhere alive with action up until closing time at midnight. The later you stay, however, the more the bar becomes a haven for working girls. They aren’t hard to miss as they are usually around the pool table – still undefeated. Some of these girls are so skillful they could play professional pool if ever they wanted to change career.
Bor Pen Nyang Restaurant and Bar
- Opening Hours: 11:00-24:00
- Address: Bor Pen Nyang, Fah Ngum Rd, Wat Chanh, Vientiane
- Tel: 020 5580 8281