So when I asked my friend Rob about where to party after the curfew in Luang Prabang (you have to be back at your guesthouse before midnight), he says “You go bowling and break your curfew”.
Bowling? Like bowling bowling? For a night out?
What is this bowling alley he speaks of? And how do we find it?
“Every cab driver knows”
First of all it baffled me that there could be a bowling alley in this sleepy, beautiful town in the middle of Laos. Secondly, who parties at the bowling alley? I suddenly had flashbacks to when I was 16 years old and we would go bowling because there was a bar there and sometimes we could get away with underage drinking. Not much time was spent bowling as we really spent the entire time glancing over at the boys from our school and giggling, or trying our luck at the arcade games hoping we would win money for our school lunch.
After a fun evening of beers, giant jenga and great food at Utopia bar with the friends I made on the nightmare bus journey from Vietnam to Laos, we decided to go in search of this famous Luang Prabang bowling alley. We made it only a few metres outside the bar before we were approached by several tuk-tuk drivers saying “Bowling? Bowling?”
This is clearly where the party is at. So we broke our curfew and hopped in a tuk tuk to see what all the fuss is about. At first we wondered where the hell we were going as we seemed to be heading out into the countryside and down a dirt track with chickens running around. But then, we see it. A giant western bowling alley in the middle of nowhere.
Inside you can buy beers or whole bottles of whisky, and you soon realise that your bowling does NOT improve the more intoxicated you get! It’s unusual and it’s fun, and definitely a must-do when you’re in Luang Prabang.