Whisky Village

Whisky Village, Luang Prabang: Address, Phone Number, Whisky Village Reviews: 3/5

Whisky Village
3
What people are saying
skyisblu
By skyisblu
Give it a miss, try the whisky in Luang Prabang
Jan 2020
The Whisky Village, Ban Xang Hai, famous for distilling their own alcohol, made from the sticky rice we have become so accustomed to eating with our every meal here in Laos. They grind it into a powder which they turn into yeast balls, and these are fermented in large blue drums covered with squares of cotton. January is not the harvest season for rice, so it is also not the time for whisky - what we get to taste is last season's product. There is the first whisky, the strong stuff that is the first pass through the still - very potent, this stuff clocks in at a staggering 55 proof! They boil the rice again to make a second whisky. Cloudy and often purple-coloured, depending on the rice used, this whisky is more akin to a sake in flavour: you taste the rice, the alcohol, the fermentation. It's not bad. For the novelty factor, there are bottle of whisky stuffed with snakes, and scorpions, and centipedes in the bottles, which is clearly done for the photo opportunity and the sale. Supposedly, the men in the village drink THAT stuff to make them "stronger". The whisky-producing area is right off the boat launch, but you can walk further into the village, too. The main corridor leading away from the water is lined with tables where the village women have laid out their scarves and other textiles for sale. It's clear that this village sees a lot of tourist traffic. Some of the women are embroidering cloth by hand, others are weaving on big looms - we learn from our guide that some of these villagers pack up their products in the afternoon and drive into Luang Prabang for the night market, so don't fret if you don;t make your purchases here. Keep walking through the stalls of scarfs, and you'll emerge out into the village, right in front of their temple. It's a nice visit, beautifully painted and small in comparison to Luang Prabang, but real. It's the only authentic experience in this little village, which has become much too fixated on the tourism industry, welcoming boat-loads of day-trippers doing the Pak Ou Caves every day. My suggestion? Save your money and try the products in Luang Prabang - the visit here was not worth it.

Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.

Top ways to experience Whisky Village and similar attractions


3.0
341 reviews
Excellent
21
Very good
70
Average
144
Poor
67
Terrible
39

skyisblu
Montreal, Canada2,538 contributions
Jan 2020
The Whisky Village, Ban Xang Hai, famous for distilling their own alcohol, made from the sticky rice we have become so accustomed to eating with our every meal here in Laos. They grind it into a powder which they turn into yeast balls, and these are fermented in large blue drums covered with squares of cotton. January is not the harvest season for rice, so it is also not the time for whisky - what we get to taste is last season's product. There is the first whisky, the strong stuff that is the first pass through the still - very potent, this stuff clocks in at a staggering 55 proof! They boil the rice again to make a second whisky. Cloudy and often purple-coloured, depending on the rice used, this whisky is more akin to a sake in flavour: you taste the rice, the alcohol, the fermentation. It's not bad. For the novelty factor, there are bottle of whisky stuffed with snakes, and scorpions, and centipedes in the bottles, which is clearly done for the photo opportunity and the sale. Supposedly, the men in the village drink THAT stuff to make them "stronger".

The whisky-producing area is right off the boat launch, but you can walk further into the village, too. The main corridor leading away from the water is lined with tables where the village women have laid out their scarves and other textiles for sale. It's clear that this village sees a lot of tourist traffic. Some of the women are embroidering cloth by hand, others are weaving on big looms - we learn from our guide that some of these villagers pack up their products in the afternoon and drive into Luang Prabang for the night market, so don't fret if you don;t make your purchases here.

Keep walking through the stalls of scarfs, and you'll emerge out into the village, right in front of their temple. It's a nice visit, beautifully painted and small in comparison to Luang Prabang, but real. It's the only authentic experience in this little village, which has become much too fixated on the tourism industry, welcoming boat-loads of day-trippers doing the Pak Ou Caves every day. My suggestion? Save your money and try the products in Luang Prabang - the visit here was not worth it.
Written June 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

milliesmum2016
Christchurch, New Zealand1,809 contributions
Jan 2020
We called in here as part of the itinerary on a boat trip to Pak Ou. It was quite interesting to see the stills making the whisky but this is not unique and the same process can be seen in other places in SE Asia. I visited a similar operation making rice wine in the Dalat Highlands in Vietnam. It's really a marketing opportunity for the village, which has an extensive market with whisky for sale, of course, but also some of the lovely intricate Lao weaving and embroidery.
I did meet a lady another day who comes from this village and she did give me some whisky to taste; a couple of different ones. It was quite palatable but I'm not a whisky drinker, so not really able to comment analytically about quality and taste. Interesting though.
However, one useful thing to note is that if you make it as far as the village square, there is a mnastery which has public toilets. They're squat one though, but any port in a storm, I say! It would be courteous to leave a small tip.
Written March 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jerome B
Columbia, MD958 contributions
Feb 2020
Interesting stop in a village along the Mekong to see rice wine being made and other handicrafts. Very interesting to roam around the village a bit and take it all in.
Written March 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Cameron S
Castle Rock, CO650 contributions
Dec 2019
You will likely visit Whisky Village only if you are taking a boat ride to the Pak Ou Caves. Tourist trap, not much worth buying here. Sticky rice wine - with snakes in the bottles - was an interesting sight.
Written February 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

312bill
Santa Fe, NM31 contributions
Dec 2019
Unless you are interested in tasting or buying their strange whiskey, I cannot recommend stopping at this village when there is so much more interesting to see in and around Luang Prabang. The main reason anyone stops at Whiskey Village is that the Mekong River boat tours to Pak Ou cave stop at the village for about half an hour before going the rest of the way to the cave. Obviously these stops at the village are a vital part of the village's economy.
Written February 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Joel K
Vancouver, Canada3,033 contributions
Dec 2019
We didn't buy the whiskey. We bought the wine. The wines are made from purple sticky rice. The whiskey is 55% alcohol. We bought a small bottle of the red. We were on a private boat and spent a short time trying the different options.
Written January 31, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

TMOH8
Guildford, UK2,142 contributions
Jan 2020 • Couples
We enjoyed the river trip on the Mekong more than the village itself but, that said, the explanation of the whiskey making process was interesting and the taste an 'experience'!

The village itself has a lot of market stalls and we were told that the prices are less than in Luang Prabang. The temple area was picturesque too.

I think the village 'suffered' by having visited a less tourist oriented village earlier in our trip but, if you're staying in Luang Prabang and not traveling far up he Mekong then it's a good excuse to get out on the river, which is, after all, the main attraction.
Written January 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

bobjanh
Brisbane, Australia1,608 contributions
Sep 2019 • Couples
It is a ”compulsory” stop on the day tours to Pak Ou cave and located where you board the boat for the cruise up the river to the caves: the village itself is quite interesting and includes an impressive temple complex. Otherwise, unless you are wanting to purchase local handicrafts, just a pleasant stop on the day trip. Rice whiskey is of passing interest only: tasting and purchases available.
Written January 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Reslimpan
Providence, RI2,696 contributions
Dec 2019 • Couples
Small moonshine distillery, distilling and selling Lao Lao, the Lao whisky. For the more adventurous there are Lao Lao with snakes, scorpions or a combination of both. Besides this a dozen or so vendors of miscellaneous textile products. We stopped by on our way to the caves and the best thing of the stop was to be able to stretch your legs.
Written January 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

welearnbydoing
New Delhi, India78 contributions
Dec 2019 • Solo
On the board trip to the caves. The boat stop here for 30min. This village is famous for handmade scafs/clothes and homemade whisky. For your own health recommend not to drink local acholol. You can bargain for the clothes.
Written December 19, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Showing results 1-10 of 235
Anything missing or inaccurate?
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Frequently Asked Questions about Whisky Village

We recommend booking Whisky Village tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 3 Whisky Village tours on Tripadvisor