Luang Prabang, Laos: Hot Eats on the Streets


Getting There

The minibus ride from Phonsavan to Luang Prabang was nothing short of terrifying. The road was not in the best repair and in places it clung precariously to the steep slopes of the rugged terrain. Hairpin turns and sheer drop-offs were abundant, and that wasn’t the terrifying part… our driver was nursing a pretty serious hangover. Through the support (water, massage, energy drink, etc.) and will of the passengers, we arrived at the Luang Prabang minibus station in one piece. We jumped into a tuk-tuk, showed the driver the address of our guesthouse and never looked back.

Vanvisa Guesthouse, Luang Prabang, Laos

Vanvisa Guesthouse, Luang Prabang, Laos

The Vanvisa Guesthouse was in the ‘Economy Guesthouse’ area according to our map. Really? It was just a few blocks from the market, less than a block up from the riverfront and on a quiet, small street with carefully groomed ornamental plants wherever space permitted. Sweet!

Vanvisa Guesthouse's quiet street. Yes, that is the Mekong at the end.

Vanvisa Guesthouse’s quiet street… except Sunday night when the neighbors throw a karaoke party. Thankfully they knock it off by 10!



Carefully groomed plants were everywhere on the quiet side streets

Scary Minibus Rides Make Me Hungry

The tourist map was awesome. Let’s see, a street labeled ‘Night Food’ and one marked ‘Morning Food.’ Nice! We arrived at the market in the early evening while things were still getting set up. Nearby, we found a restaurant with a good vantage point for observing the activity at the market. The vendors fired up their grills and brought huge pots of who-knows-what to a simmer while the tourists and locals milled about, and we sipped on cold BeerLaos. After a short while, the people-watching and tantalizing smells made us hungry, so we finished our beers and then wandered down ‘Night Food’ Street.

Meat-on-a-stick. Yummm! But, which one?

Meat-on-a-stick. Yummm! But, which one?

Stalls packed what appeared more of an alley than a street. There were countless food options: meat-on-a-stick, fresh green papaya salad, dumplings, noodle soups, and more. We pushed through the crowd from one end to the other to see what there was to eat. When we ran out of stalls, we turned around and started ordering one of this and one of that until we had a bag full of goodies for dinner.

Made-while-you-wait fresh green papaya salad

Made-while-you-wait fresh green papaya salad

At the end of the food stalls, were women frying up fluffy, little, coconutty, custard-filled cakes about the size of an obese quarter. Obviously, we made room in our bag. It turned out that they were one of Pat’s favorite treats.

Pat's new favorite treat, coconutty, custard-filled cake things

Pat’s new favorite treat, coconutty, custard-filled cake things

There is really not much I appreciate more than hot street eats. We took the booty back to our guesthouse, poured a whiskey and sampled away. Everything was scrumptious. Eating new foods always puts a smile on my face and the Street Eats in Luang Prabang are exceptionally tasty!

Hike Drink Live Laugh

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2 thoughts on “Luang Prabang, Laos: Hot Eats on the Streets

  1. Love the pics, makes me want to pack and go away right now. How’s the new backpack and packing cubes working out? I’ve been eyeing them on Amazon and wondered what you thought of them so far.
    Maybe we’ll see you in Europe.

    • Backpacks and cubes are working great! They are very well constructed. I generally use mine with the backpack straps and Pat uses his with the shoulder strap or just carries it by the handle. I don’t think we have had to carry our bags more than a 1/4 mile, but it wasn’t uncomfortable. The cubes really keep things organized. Be sure to click through our link if you place an order! Hope to see you in Europe!

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