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End of the year events in Vientiane

By: Thomas Wanhoff Posted: December-30-2010 in
Happy New Year sign at Cultural Hall in Vientiane
Thomas Wanhoff

I am quite impressed with what is going on in Vientiane between Christmas and New Year. There is the Tiger Beer Event at Nam Phou Square, which is one of the most professionally organized events I have seen in SE Asia so far. What I like is that the music fits the audience, both foreigners and locals, the bands are really good and know their business (means no feedback), and the sound is awesome (applause to the guy on the mixer, great job). Food is available. Not that much, but enough for a small dinner, and of course beer is there for a fair price (11.000 KIP for a big bottle). The organizers change the program every day, from DJ to Guitar player to rock bands. I'm looking forward to today's and tomorrow's program.

There is also an event at the cultural hall, sponsored by Beer Lao and the Government. The stage is bigger, of course, but the band seems to be from one of the hotels: nice, but nothing special. So expect an atmosphere where people sit around tables and listen to an older guy singing Lionel Richie songs. Food is local, but well prepared, and you can order your drinks with the beer girls. Again, it is not too bad, but it is not exciting, and this is something that you may expect for the end of the year.

So no wonder that the modern middle and upper class locals are more into the Tiger Beer event, while some of the average citizens are joining Beer Lao. But I believe that the Nam Phou event is more popular and is simply better done.

Side note: even if the Government sponsored events still lack international standards, they are much closer to it than any of the official Vietnamese events I have attended.


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