Time called on pubs and clubs in crackdown on vice
In what appeared to be a crackdown on vice and for eign influence, some of the pubs and nightclubs in the capital Vientiane were closed down by officials following government orders.
Although there was no announcement on the matter, owners believed the closures were related to a notice in January which ordered nightspots to play mainly Lao music, to decorate their premises in Lao style, and to permit only the traditional Lao dance, the lamvong.
Vientiane's nightlife has blossomed over the past year with dozens of nightclubs springing up across the city.
Among the venues which were shut down were at least two which bore few signs of Lao influence.
The closures may also be related to the increasing numbers of prostitutes based in clubs and pubs.
The official media recently criticised youths who fought and made noise outside nightclubs. One such club was closed down two months ago when a man died after having his throat cut on the dance floor.