Laos – eating cheaply in Luang Prabang

When I’m travelling for work, I tend to eat out at more upmarket places (see previous post), simply because I can’t afford to get ill. When I’m on holiday however, I’m up for taking more chances…

Detailed addresses are hard to come by in LP but you’ll find both these places on my Google map.

Riverside Barbecue Restaurant (Elementary B+), by the river on Khem Khong Road, near the junction with Kitsalat Road

This is a very popular dining experience with locals and tourists alike because it’s cheap and a lot of fun. It’s the local version of Hot Pot or Steamboat where you cook your own food in a heated stock at the table. The Laotian stock dish also has a hot plate so you can also barbecue simultaneously.

First you pay a set fee to the lady at the till and then she sends a waiter with some hot coals for the charcoal burner on your table.

Then you go to the buffet table to choose what you would like to cook and eat. You can return as many times as you like as it’s all-you-can-eat. My tips are to avoid those little frankfurters and load up on the mushrooms.

The waiter provides some cubes of fat to oil the hot plate and away you go.

Now I have to be honest and tell you I had a bit of a dicky tummy the day after this meal. However I don’t want to put you off as it’s a fun experience and you might have better luck than me. As a precaution, make sure you cook your food well and avoid pre-cooked food that could have been standing around for a while. I thought I had but it may well have been something else that caused my problems. Bon chance!

Unknown Noodle Shop (Initial A), no address but it’s on the other side of the street from the entrance to Wat Sen temple on Sakkarine Road, around the block from Tamarind

You’ll see the stock pans simmering away on the street and the staff and customers sitting outside on plastic stools. The Khao Soi here is described by someone on the web as the best in Luang Prabang, and I can’t disagree.

Apparently they sell out as early as 10am so it’s best not to leave it too late.

If your not averse to playing food roulette, the night market in the alley parallel to Kitsalat Road has heaps of street food vendors selling interesting wares.

And that was the end of my delicious experience of Luang Prabang. Off to the capital Vientiane next…

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