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Myanmar/Burma and Vientiane


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I will be traveling around Burma (I hope!) in December and also a few days in Vientiane. Does anybody have some specific recommendations (i.e. with addresses or locations) on where to go. Hint: I eat in markets.....

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I eat in markets too, but the only places, with, like, names I can remember in Vientiane were the expat-y places - Jo-Ma coffee and Sticky Fingers, on the main drag near the river. Good, FWIW. But really, the best food I had in Laos was in Luang Prabang and north-eastern Laos (where the only place you can eat is the market). Any reason you're going to Vientiane in particular?

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Looking back on our last Lao trip I'm struck by that warm feeling I have towards Vientiane. (the pictures don't seem to work anymore, but they're available on imageGullet if you can figure it out).

Vientiane's dusty and flyblown, but it's got a pleasant neglected atmosphere I find charming.

Still, it's never been the same since they cleared the beer garden out of the fountain.

For eats, the Kop Chai Deau near the fountain was good, with very nicely done crickets (and I've eaten them across several continents).

gallery_22892_4157_24516.jpg

Le Grillot near the Talaat Sao was serviceable, but, for Indochine the wine was disappointing, having a very small selection they didn't quite know how to open.

gallery_22892_4157_63154.jpg

Le Na Dao has a better reputation, but was closed when we were there after New Years.

I'd give L'Opera a miss. Once I was very fond of it, but I was disappointed last time.

gallery_22892_4157_15073.jpg

The Scandanavian Bakery behind the fountain is good for a baguette with ham and cheese.

Street stalls everywhere are worth trying, especially down along the river side.

For drinks....find Beer Lao on tap! Do not miss this opportunity.

gallery_22892_4157_56593.jpg

And look for Lao coffee. It's good...real good.

And check, at the airport, if they still have beignets.

Now, just promise to write and post.

And I want to know if they've got cash machines (that work) yet!

:smile:

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I eat in markets too, but the only places, with, like, names I can remember in Vientiane were the expat-y places - Jo-Ma coffee and Sticky Fingers, on the main drag near the river. Good, FWIW. But really, the best food I had in Laos was in Luang Prabang and north-eastern Laos (where the only place you can eat is the market). Any reason you're going to Vientiane in particular?

Actually, I am going to Vientiane because I am sponsering (privately, i.e. directly) a kid to go to university, so I am going to visit him. No, Vientiane is not particularly happening. Makes Pnom Penh look like Paris. oh well. I'll just shut up and eat my bats.

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Looking back on our last Lao trip I'm struck by that warm feeling I have towards Vientiane.  (the pictures don't seem to work anymore, but they're available on imageGullet if you can figure it out).

Vientiane's dusty and flyblown, but it's got a pleasant neglected atmosphere I find charming. 

Still, it's never been the same since they cleared the beer garden out of the fountain.

For eats, the Kop Chai Deau near the fountain was good, with very nicely done crickets (and I've eaten them across several continents). 

gallery_22892_4157_24516.jpg

Le Grillot near the Talaat Sao was serviceable, but, for Indochine the wine was disappointing, having a very small selection they didn't quite know how to open.

gallery_22892_4157_63154.jpg

Le Na Dao has a better reputation, but was closed when we were there after New Years.

I'd give L'Opera a miss.  Once I was very fond of it, but I was disappointed last time.

gallery_22892_4157_15073.jpg

The Scandanavian Bakery behind the fountain is good for a baguette with ham and cheese.

Street stalls everywhere are worth trying, especially down along the river side.

For drinks....find Beer Lao on tap!  Do not miss this opportunity.

gallery_22892_4157_56593.jpg

And look for Lao coffee.  It's good...real good.

And check, at the airport, if they still have beignets.

Now, just promise to write and post.

And I want to know if they've got cash machines (that work) yet!

:smile:

I think they have cash machines, only problem is they don't have anything you want to spend the cash on.

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  • 1 year later...

We're just back from a trip to S/E Asia in late September that included several days in Vientiane.

In Vientiane, two restaurants from opposite ends of the scale that we enjoyed were note worthy.

Without question, the best meal we had in our 10-days in Laos was at Makphet Restaurant. The restaurant is sponsored by the Peuan Mit Street Children's Project, a program run by Friend’s International that provides vocational training to street children in Laos. The charitable aspect was one of the reasons we decided to eat there…the first time. But we were so blown away by the food and service that we decided to go back for a 2nd visit on our last night in country and that meal was equally as good.

While the restaurant is staffed by students and instructors, there is at least one person back in the kitchen who knows exactly what they are doing. The food was not only well pre-pared; the menu was inspired. A refined hand has been applied to local ingredients and recipes to produce a menu full of what is best about the fusion of eastern and western cuisines.

And the service was terrific. Our table was served by a group of at least 2 and sometimes more very eager (to please) students and at least 1 instructor at all times.

We were a group of 5 and over the course of the 2 meals we sampled and shared a good portion of the menu and everything we ate was better than just “good.” The consensus of our group was that 2 vegetable dishes were the favorites of the table:

-Grilled eggplant with tomatoes, galangal, lemongrass and peanuts

-Banana flower salad with mushrooms and galangal

Other entrées we enjoyed were:

-Chicken curry with pumpkin and mushrooms

-A salad with pan seared beef marinated in Lao whiskey

-Spiced (grilled) Lao pork sausage

-Steamed Mekong River fish fillet

These were accompanied by ever present baskets of sticky rice.

At most meals in Laos, we passed up dessert but the menu at Makphet sounded so good, we gave in to temptation. And the desserts were equal to the entrées. There are quite a few others offered but on both nights we shared:

-Steamed pumpkin cake with palm sugar syrup

-Coconut - pineapple cake

-Grilled pineapple with caramelized palm sugar syrup

-Red Hibiscus & Passion fruit sorbet with meringue stars

The total bill including a round of beer and/or (fancy) cocktails was about $12 USD per person, which is expensive for Laos. But back home, we would happily pay 5 times that for a similar meal.

And this was one of the few restaurants in Laos that we were sure did not use MSG in their recipes.

Makphet Restaurant

Address: On a no-name street parallel to Settathirath Road and one block off the river front. The Hare and Hound Pub is on one end of the street and Simply Me Cafe is on the other.

Vientiane, Laos

Phone : 020 78 21 949

Email : laos@friends-international.org

Website : http://www.friends-international.org

Hours : 12:00 to to 20:00

Bounmala is very much a local’s place that’s a bit on the side of too bright and noisy but in its own way, a really good experience. The attraction here is barbecue chicken and cheap beer. We ordered spring rolls, chicken, grilled duck, green papaya salad and sticky rice. And large bottles of Beer Lao for 9000 kip (or just over $1 USD). Beer is also available by the pitcher as well as in a table top dispenser with an ice filled plastic cylinder in the middle.

All we got was really good food at an inexpensive price and friendly service.

Bounmala

Address: Kouvieng Road

Vientiane, Laos

Phone: +856 21 31 3249

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  • 4 weeks later...

what visa are you planning on getting for mynamar? as not all visa will give you acess to other parts of the country, ie they can be regional depending on where you enter the country, unless you have secured a visa prior to arriving.... And you should be aware of current conflicts inside the country as they frequently change and leave areas inacessable or cut off, staying in the major cities is advisable unless you have local guides / friends. We recently returned from tachilek, and inle lake in the shan state, and all was not well as of a 2 weeks ago with skirmishes bEtween the UWSA, SSA, BGF, USDA ect. food was ok, not really a big suprise, best meals we had were in tachilek and a few grilled fish from inle..heres a good news source from the shan state, located on the lao border. Also if you do go forget travelers checks and atm's theyare totaly useless bring, usd and or thai baht. Im assuming you will be traveling via lao, make sure the border is open before you try as i think the lao border is sealed as we speak.. So you would need to fly or cross fromn china or thailand.

shanland.org

Edited by tb86 (log)
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