Eat and Drink

  • Lao food is spicy and delicious. There are many similarities between Lao and Thai food, although the former is slightly influenced by Chinese cuisine. Lao dishes are distinguished by the use of aromatic herbs and spices. Rice, especially sticky rice served in small bamboo containers, is the foundation for all Lao meals, and almost all dishes are cooked with fresh vegetables, freshwater fish, poultry, duck, pork, beef or water buffalo. Lime juice, lemon grass and fresh coriander give the food its characteristic taste, and various fermented fish condiments are used to salt the food.

  • A traditional Lao dish is laap (also meaning 'luck' in Lao), made from raw fish or meat crushed into a paste, marinated in lemon juice and mixed with chopped mint. It is called laap sin if it has a meat base and laap paa if it's fish based.

  • There is also a well-ingrained Vietnamese culinary tradition, and Chinese food is never hard to find. Laos has inherited a sophisticated and tasty colonial legacy. French cuisine is widely available, with street cafes serving delectable fresh croissants, baguettes, pain au chocolate and a selection of sticky pastries.