Vang Vieng has a number of bars catering to the backpacker crowd. They serve beer in bottles or you can buy cheap spirits in plastic buckets that come equipped with straws so that one bucket may be shared among many. Young people gather around their buckets and guzzle away. The main bar of this sort in town is the Q Bar on the main street about 20m (66 ft.) from the main junction heading north. There is an island in the river opposite the Vang Vieng Orchid Hotel where a whole slew of bars have appeared. They are effectively giant shacks with overworked sound systems that do little for the natural evening serenity of Vang Vieng. The aptly named Bucket Bar and the longer-running Smile Bar seem the most popular but that can change week by week.

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