Kong View Restaurant offers a charming riverside setting in which to enjoy the greatest spectacle Vientiane has to offer – the sun setting into the majestic Mekong River. Popular with both locals and tourists, the restaurant is set in an attractive house and garden, and serves a mix of Laos, Thai and Western cuisine.
Diners can choose to sit inside the air conditioned restaurant or out in the tree-lined garden, but if you are visiting around sunset it is strongly advised to get a table close to the river to really appreciate the stunning scenery.
Located a few kilometres upstream from the centre of town, Kong View Restaurant sits next to the riverside; if you walk along the river bank you can’t fail to miss it. Alternatively, you can take a tuk-tuk which will get you there in only a few minutes and is a fun prelude to an evening meal.
The menu is an extensive collection of Laos and Thai favourites with some Western standards thrown in for good measure. The best way to eat at Kong View is to order a few plates for the table as portions are smallish and designed to be shared. If you are there just for the sunset view then a couple of snacks would be sufficient – crispy prawn spring rolls are always popular ($US6) or the assorted Laotian snacks come in a basket with riverweed, Lao sausages and chilli dip and is a great introduction to authentic Laotian food ($US5). For groups thinking of spending an evening at Kong View Restaurant, there are several different river fish to choose from, either deep fried or steamed, for around $US9. If this all sounds too adventurous there is deep fried chicken and chips and other typical Western standards. Whatever you order, the food is well presented and freshly prepared.
Relaxing beneath the trees and multi-coloured lanterns at Kong View, it is clear the management have built a venue where dining is only part of the experience. It is also one of the few riverside Vientiane venues that offers good quality live music, so even when night falls and dinner is finished, it is popular for people to move inside for a few more drinks.
Since the construction of the riverside promenade in 2010 and the ongoing road developments, Kong View has ended up a few metres further away from the river but infinitely safer from the threat of floods. Fortuitously, the flood wall has had minimal impact on the riverside vista from the Kong View garden – certainly when compared to neighbouring restaurants, some of which have had their riverside views obliterated. Despite the construction of the promenade, upriver the bar and restaurant scene is still awash with options for sitting back, sipping on a cold drink and watching the glistening gold and yellow sunlight dancing on the Mekong – and Kong View is among the best as it provides an extensive menu, a laidback ambiance and, above all, an incredible view.