Date night in Vientiane! Three bars, two puzzling toilets, and one quirky French restaurant. About as exciting as it gets for a date night around here, and that’s just fine with us.
In a previous post, I mentioned that we found a great sitter for Noe who was referred by Lori’s French boss who has three children. She’s watched Noe a few times during the day, but we hadn’t yet utilized her services for an evening out…until tonight!
Our first stop was Xayoh, recently remodeled and rebranded as Samba Xayoh Brazilian Steakhouse. We did not stay for the steak, but rather settled for a couple of cocktails on their sidewalk dining terrace. This place has a bit of significance for us as it’s where we had our final dinner before leaving Vientiane to motorbike the Khammouane Loop in 2012. It’s also the only eatery from our 2012 visit that we hadn’t returned (that still exists, anyway).
We didn’t initially planned on returning to Xayoh tonight, but it’s surprisingly difficult to find any place that serves cocktails in Vientiane open before 6:30pm. Xayoh fit the bill and was very close to our dinner spot. However, I think we’ll have to push back our date nights accordingly, in the future.
Next up, Dresden. Not the city, of course, and nowhere near as far. If you know Vientiane, you know we didn’t make it terribly far. As I often like to do on these sorts of occasions at these sorts of places, I ordered a Negroni.
And that may just be the most gorgeous little iceberg-in-a-glass I’ve ever seen.
By the time we got to Dresden, both of us were feeling the call of nature, but didn’t want to leave our beverages unattended. I went first, having noticed nothing remarkable in the course of my journey but for an event poster that looked intriguing. Then Lori went, but returned with quite the story. Lori asked me if I was able to figure out the toilet. I looked at her very puzzled, not remembering anything particularly out of the ordinary. I did ask her if she had seen the ad for a distillery tour posted on the wall. Nope. Are you sure there’s only one bathroom? Yep. Hmm…
This is what she saw.
According to my wife, one should think twice before trying the “Cleansing Move” button…
In the opposite corner, this is what I saw.
Same room, two very different experiences…
On to dinner!
La Cage du Coq (The Cock’s Cage) is a funky little French restaurant in downtown Vientiane that we’ve been wanting to try out for some time. No pretense here — just a quirky country atmosphere with lots of Lao chicken cages (see light fixture below). Drink menu is on your table mat. But, where’s the wine? On a giant rooster-shaped piece of cardboard on a stick that the waitress brings around upon request, of course.
And the food menu? Tucked inside old vinyl album sleeves from 1970s French musicians. Sweet.
We’ve heard the food here is pretty good, but weren’t over-the-moon impressed with what we got — a sort of pork fillet mignon that was a bit dry for our tastes. But the wine was fantastic and we’ll definitely be back to try some of their other offerings in the future.
Which brings us to our second quirky bathroom of the evening.
Notice anything out of the ordinary?
Can’t say I’ve ever seen a shower door with a lock (and that is most certainly a shower (I couldn’t help but peek inside)). Now, why anyone would need to lock up their shower is beyond me…to be honest, I think I’d rather not know.
After leaving Cage du Coq, we had about an hour remaining until we needed to get back home. Lori’s been wanting to try out a new bar called Vientiane Social, and tonight was the perfect night to do just that. What we weren’t counting on was feeling very out of place.
The place was pretty busy, which is a bit unusual for Vientiane, or at least the places we tend to frequent. We thought we’d end the night with a couple of draught BeerLao. And nope, that’s not some crazy Instagram filter, that’s the lighting.
The bar struck us as a cross between a small-town strip-mall bar and a trendy Thai nightclub frequented by fratboys looking for a good time. If we didn’t already feel out of place, the bartender immediately bringing us the bill after serving us our drinks certainly confirmed our suspicions…might be wise not to linger too long. We guzzled our beers and headed back to see our child.
Are You Covered?Find out why we use World Nomads for all our independent travel.
Regardless, still a fun night out without the little guy.
Disclaimer: This article may contain affiliate links, which means that if you buy through them, we receive a small commission at no added cost to you. Thanks for supporting AwayGoWe!