It is common knowledge that many massage parlors offer more than just relaxing massages and soothing therapies. In Vientiane, a massage should be limited to just that: a massage and nothing more. While some people like to visit the parlors in the hopes of getting a “happy ending massage” in Vientiane, it is important to remember a key aspect of the Lao law: “The Lao Government prohibits sexual relationships between foreign and Lao nationals, except when the two parties have been married in accordance with Lao family law”. Therefore, a sexual interaction such as a happy ending massage would be considered a crime in this country unless the person giving you the massage is your spouse.
Nonetheless, a happy ending massage is not impossible to get in Vientiane, but you have to be careful as such practices are not only against the law but also of questionable hygiene and cleaning standards. After all, when a business operates in a clandestine way, there is no way to asses its quality standards or the lack of them. If you walk off the Mekong river shore or around the central part of town, you are likely to find a lot of small massage shops with little to almost no advertising in sight. You have to keep your eyes wide open to spot them. Once you walk in, you are likely to be asked whether you want a male or a woman as your massage therapist. You can freely choose, depending on your preference. If the business is open to offer you a happy ending, they will mention it right there. Otherwise, do not ask them and do not force them as such action would offend their integrity and it would pretty much be like asking them to do something that is illegal.
A key factor that you can take into consideration, to know if there might be a happy ending or not, is to identify the popularity and traffic of the place. If you are sharing a room with a bunch of other people who are also getting massages, then that is not the place to get a happy ending. A happy ending in Vientiane will be secluded, private and very discreet as to avoid any encounters that will get the therapist in trouble. If the place is dimly lit, less crowded and secluded, then you are more likely to be offered a happy ending, but do not push it.
While Vientiane is a great city, offering significantly different things to its Southeast Asian neighbors, it is definitely not the best place to get naughty. If you are the kind of traveler who seeks this kind of experience, you might be better off to other countries in the region but not Laos. Lao people value sexual relationships as something exclusive for marriage, and seeking to experience a happy ending massage in Vientiane might lead you to not only break the law, but also to disrespect the humanity of the people around you. It is better to stay calm and explore the other things that make Vientiane stand out.