Italy

LGBTQ+: Luang Prabang, Laos

by Benjamin Kerns

Nov 23, 2018

© John Pavelka | Flickr

Trends / LGBTQ

Laos has steadily become a popular destination for backpackers over the last decade. Luang Prabang, in particular, has become a hot spot for LGBTQ+ travelers in Southeast Asia. The small city off of the Mekong River is rich in culture and, for regional norms, incredibly welcoming to all walks of life.

 

While you won’t find a plethora of gay bars dotting the streets, there is one place in particular that is thriving thanks to a vibrant gay community. Lao Lao Garden is the only gay bar in town and, as such, often gets pretty full throughout the week. A lively, friendly atmosphere, great beer and good music make it a must if you’re passing through town.

 

Outside of the nightlife, Luang Prabang offers a wealth of activities. Riverboat tours and guided hikes through the hillside make for wonderful outdoor adventures. Meanwhile, within the city limits, there are dozens of Buddhist temples to explore. During the morning you can even wake up early to see the monks walk through town to collect alms from the locals. In the evening, make sure to head toward the town center to check out the night market, where you can purchase locally made goods. Or, you can climb to the top of Mount Phou Si to watch the sunset.

 

Laos has a long way to go when it comes to civil rights, but you’ll find the majority of locals in Luang Prabang incredibly kind and welcoming of the community, and happy to break bread with you anytime.

 

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