The Queen Bee is a nightclub located in Vientiane, Laos. The two-story building can't be missed what with its large neon bee (I'm guessing she's the queen) on the side. Situated just four kilometers from the city center (on Thadeua Road), it seems quite popular. Most visitors arrive on motorbike; the area in front of the building quickly fills with what must be hundreds of them parked in neat, orderly rows.

Inside there is a relatively small dance floor surrounded by a dozen or so booths and scores of tables. The one time I visited, dancing didn't seem to be so much the point as was watching people dance. And it wasn't like people were being wall-flowers — too shy to get up — but more that they enjoyed sitting at their tables, drinking sodas and watching the dancing. The one time I ventured out on the floor it was quite crowded so perhaps this was part of the reason.

I haven't been to many nightclubs but I know enough that the men's room at dance places are nothing less than the fifth realm of hell. The men's room at the Queen Bee wasn't too bad. Sure there was the inevitable smell of urine, but there were doors on both stalls and no one mistaking the sink for a bidet. Something I hadn't seen before: customers using the urinals would receive a shoulder massage by a man who apparently worked for tips.

If you should get bored of dancing, or perhaps too hot, the Queen Bee is located just next door from one of Vientiane's two (that I know of) bowling alleys.

The next time your travel plans call for a trip to Vientiane, be sure to drop on by.

Queen Bee Nightclub
Thadeua Rd,
P.O. Box 5532
Vientiane, Lao P.D.R.
Tel: (856) 21 313 867
Fax: (856) 21 314 789

Special thanks to the staff of Vientiane's "Healthy & Fresh Bakery" (now called "JoMa") for showing me the place.

Queen Bee is also an eclectic boutique items-dealer, operating out of Olympia, Washington. Every Queen Bee item is unique because each one is hand-made, and customizable. They sell purses, wallets, journals, belts, and t-shirts.

The company is run by Rebecca Pearcy. Her creations first came to attention of music fans with her now oft-copied handbags made from old 45 vinyl. Incased in sheer plastic, Queen Bee allows the prospective on-line buyer to select the color to be placed by the vinyl. Her bags and wallets have also been known to incorporate images from Wonder Woman and the Mexican Lotteria cards. Chances are you've seen these choice artifacts around town if you live in the Pacific Northwest or the Bay Area. Her products can often be found at stores selling Paul Frank or Yum Pop products.

Rebecca Pearcy says:

Queen Bee items are particularly unique because you have a hand in choosing the design, colors, and decorative images that make up the final product. So, you won't find anything else quite like them anywhere! A lot of thought and energy has been put into making each and every item different and special.

Personal Testimony:

My girlfriend owns a handful of her products, one that I have put forward the money to purchase. They aren't cheap, but they are worth every penny. The time and care put into these "true, American artifacts" (as Mr. Childan would say) show in every seam and every compliment she garners walking down the street with a Queen Bee purse or when she brings out her Frog Lotteria wallet.

Queen Bee products are available online at http://www.buyolympia.com/queenbee/

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