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12 November, 2009

Lao Food in Luang Prabang Laos



Lao food in Luang Prabang was actually quite tasty as most of the local hawkers or coffee shops serve excellent Lao food which is a little similar to the Vietnamese and Cambodian style food. So if you have been to either of the those countries and tried the local food there, then it should not be a problem trying the Lao Food here. If not, there is always a first.

Lao Baguette stall

Luang Prabang is also well known for the local Lao Baguette. They are found throughout Laos at makeshift stalls by the roadside or coffee shops sell them. Some of the restaurants may even serve the baguette. I personally tried one baguette a day from different vendors and they all tasted almost similar. Most of them are served with roast chicken stuffed with fresh cut vegetables and herbs.

Video of a Lao hawker making a Lao baguette




Lao local food - Grilled pork and fish

Exploring Luang Prabang's back lanes and outer roads from town, I came across many local road side stalls that sold all kinds of Lao delicacy. A lot of them were mainly roasted or grilled above charcoal fire or wood fire. Grilled pork, chicken and fish were the usual suspects at most of the stalls.

Lao delicacy - Fertilized Duck eggs

Even in Luang Prabang main town area, there was a side lane filled with various Lao hawkers selling all kinds of local Lao food. Some which looked totally delicious while others looked pretty odd to the foreigner. Among the odd ones I encountered were a bucket of eggs with numbers written on each of the egg. I asked the stall owner what they were and she politely told me that they were the age in weeks of the unborn ducklings inside the egg. Alright, that is something I am not going to try but I was told that the locals love it there. They are Fertilized Duck Eggs by the way.

Luang Prabang local hawker food

Other roadside makeshift stalls sold mainly Lao soup noodles or fried noodles. I did try some but not at the road side stalls. I opted for the coffee shop soup noodles which were equally tasty from what I was told.

Walking along the Mekong River in search for food



If you walk along the main road along the Mekong River, you will be greeted by many restaurants that have outdoor seating with a beautiful view of the mighty Mekong River. This is one of the popular tourist places with local staff there speaking good English and serve a variety of local Lao and Western food. If hawkers or roadside stalls are not your style, then I suggest you give these places a go. Most tourist are seen here trying the local Lao food and having a cup of Lao Coffee admiring the scenic views. Before you go into some of the Mekong River View restaurants, there are huge picture menus outside for you to decide on. This makes things a whole lot easier to understand what you are going to order.

Iced Lemon Tea and Lao Coffee

I couldn't help but give it a try since the weather was pretty cooling and the view was beautiful. The restaurant was simple and we ordered some authentic Lao coffee, some Iced Lemon Tea and a roast chicken baguette the size of an American football, which we only ate half and took the other half on our exploration around town. I could understand why travelers would sit with a book and pass the afternoon here sipping some good Lao coffee.

Mekong River Restaurant View

The overall view was fantastic considering the restaurant was naturally shaded by the huge riverside trees. They sell Beer Lao and also Wines at some of the restaurants, a perfect setting for some travelers.

Local coffee shop menu

Moving to another area near the Dara Market in Luang Prabang town area, we found a nice little corner Lao coffee shop which served mainly locals. In we went and the waitress didn't even speak a word of English, so the lady shop owner had to take our order. I hesitated at first but looking at the interesting menu, I ended up ordering the Lao Fried Rice while Lilian ordered some Lao Soup Noodles and some authentic pure Lao Black Coffee. The food was great with no complaints but the coffee........

Authentic Lao Coffee

The Lao Coffee was really interesting for the both of us. In the picture above, you see Lao black coffee with condense milk at the bottom and served with a coffee spoon. So, what one has to do is stir in the condense milk with the coffee, giving it a good mix and then drink it. But in this scenario, after stirring the condensed milk, the coffee still remained black. Alright, maybe it's like that so Lilian has a go and wow! Just sipping one spoon of the coffee and she could not take it. The Lao Coffee was just too strong. In fact, it was the strongest coffee she had ever tasted and we left it as it was, paying the bill and moving on.

Lao Food - Lao soup noodles

Fresh herbs from a local market

Other than trying out the local food in Luang Prabang, we did walk to a local market selling fresh produce for the locals. All we saw were just shops and shops of fresh vegetables, herbs and dried goods. The Lao people tend to cook a lot with local grown herbs which gives the food a very distinctive taste compared to Southeast Asian cooking.

Coconut vendor

Best time to visit Luang Prabang
  • Between October and March
  • May till October - Rainy Season
  • March till May - Tempreture of 90 to 100 degrees F
My other Laos and Luang Prabang blog postings:
Luang Prabang Night Market
Luang Prabang Town Part 1
Luang Prabang Hotels, Buildings and Restaurants Part 2
Whisky Village in Luang Prabang
Pak Ou Buddha Caves in Luang Prabang
Phu Si Hill in Luang Prabang

Talat Sao Morning Market in Vientiane
Food in Vientiane
Patuxai Arch in Vientiane
That Luang Stupa (Golden Stupa) in Vientiane
Buddha Park (Xieng Khuan) in Vientiane

My conclusion to the food I had here - Please try whatever you see that would suit you. Don't forget to try the traditional Lao Coffee. Overall, everything here is pretty much clean and tasty especially when they use the local fresh herbs and vegetables. We hardly had any stomach issues while trying out the local food and saw many foreigners having a go at the local stalls. If you have a very weak stomach, then you should not attempt having Lao Food in Luang Prabang, Laos.
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8 comments:

HenRy LeE ® said... 14 November 2009 at 00:39

Luang Prabangs seems like a good place for food and places.. look at the pig head~ it looks delicious~ LOL! Thanks for the info... will look up my schedule in between oct and march :)

Auleo English said... 14 November 2009 at 08:42

Luang Prabang is a good place!

I especially like the Hmong Market,i so regret that didnt buy more textile,silk from there and gift to my friends.

if you dun mind,i;d like to link ur blog.I find this blog is informative on travelling.very good effort ya

shloke said... 14 November 2009 at 11:27

The fertilized duck eggs look like Chinese pao to me :)

David, I LOVE your descriptions and pictures of the Lao market. This article reminds me of my recent trip to Hat Yai open air market.

Cheers!
mylo

~ n0ra ~ said... 14 November 2009 at 12:41

David,
Thanks for passing by my BLOG. U have a very interesting TravelBlog! Love it!!!

Mei Teng said... 15 November 2009 at 11:40

Re the fertilized duck eggs - are those similar to balut (egg with half formed embyro)? Oh no...definitely not for me. I cannot stomach that!

Roger said... 15 November 2009 at 13:43

Hi,just dropping by. Mouth-watering pictures of Lao food!

David Jr said... 16 November 2009 at 11:20

Henry, looks delicious but sadly I did not try it. I wonder why I passed it.

Hello Auleo, thank you and yes, please do link me and I will return the favour. Appreciate it.

Mylo, thank you. I am yet to visit Hat Yai and now I need to plan for that too. Maybe make a weekend trip there soon.

Nora, thank you for visiting.

Mei, It looked alright but when they described it, I my throat closed up. I could not, period.

Roger, thank you. Appreciate it.

Regards,
David

Alvin said... 7 November 2010 at 18:24

miss the baguette, meat stalls and the coffee was good. :)

Item Reviewed: Lao Food in Luang Prabang Laos Description: Rating: 5 Reviewed By: David Jr
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