It is a very quiet capital city. You maybe get lost in space and time. When you cross the street here, you may have to run when the traffic light for the pedestrians turns red, not green. Don’t ask me why. It is like talking to a certain woman! She may say “no” when she means “yes”.
What is your expectation when going to Vientiane? Beerlao! As a capital of Laos, a serene Vientiane boasts a compact capital city with a manageable walking distance to explore a wide array of food, culture and more. I felt like going back to the past of the unknown Thailand’s upcountry scene by a time machine. Everything and everyone here seems to have slower paces than other parts of the world. Laos people are very polite, friendly and helpful. The only downside I found is perhaps the dusty roads.
I came here to visit my high school’s friend,Yung who enjoys living and working here for some time. Healthy activities like jogging around Patuxai and playing badminton could help her maintain good balance in life and enjoy a good start of the day. Walking to work, cooking at noon together with her colleagues maybe your fondest choice when living here as well. The best thing in Vientiane is the food culture and the life style.
The fresh market is a must destination for a local food exploring. It is located near a bus station which is manageable by walking from Patuxai. We opted for Bánh cuốn, a Vietnamese fare and hot coffee on Christmas day 😉
My unexpected thrill is the Vietnamese food in Vientiane. Nothing else! I have never expected to enjoy the Vietnamese food that much, and I do love it badly here in Vientiane.
01 Best Vietnamese coffee ( 6,000 kip per set )
The unique way of enjoying the Vietnamese coffee making in Vientiane is to watch the coffee drips. The taste is so impressive with a great combination of the full intense flavors. It is so much better than what I think it should be. Special thanks should be given to my best friend, Yung for introducing me to the world’s best coffee ในสามโลก. I would say it is a surprisingly charming taste and a unique process of all time. I can’t believe that it is so damn good with a condensed milk or even without. You will be served with a glass of ice cubes to help you balance the strong and bold taste. It is very refreshing !
This restaurant is famous among the Vietnamese in Vientiane for its hearty breakfast and it is located near The Royal Thai Embassy. Free wifi is offered for customers.
Hà Nội Quân ( near Royal Thai Embassy) , Avenue Kaysone Phomvihane
02 Best Nam Nueng ( a dinner costs about 100,000 ++ kip for 3 persons )
I don’t know what to say, but it is the best ever Nam Neung in my entire life (again). My friend said this place offers better taste than the original version in Vietnam. Freshest vegetables of all time! They grow their own veggies at the back of the restaurant and you will see mostly only the locals here. Don’t ever miss it !
VIENG NEM NEUNG, Vietnamese Food ( VIENGSAVANH )
Phone 020 7534068
03 Best Bánh cuốn (Rice Flour Steamed Rolls) for breakfast ( 5,000 kip depending on size )
When you visit a fresh market near a bus station in Vientiane, opting for a Vietnamese fare would be ideal to begin your lovely day. There is one small local shop selling Bánh cuốn, Khao Piak, hot coffee or tea.
There is no signage of the name of this shop though. It opens only in the morning. It is better if you head there for your unforgettable local breakfast! You may try a version without any filling and you could fall in love with the savory rolls like I do. Freshly made rice flour steamed rolls with sweet and sour sauce serve with vegetables made us feel so good.
I also had a chance to spend a half day at Houey Hong Vocational Training Centre for Women, 8 km. from a city centre to make my own scarf made from natural dyeing and to learn how to enjoy my weaving skills. ( see here for more details )
Vientiane may exceed your expectation somehow when you give yourself a chance to get lost in time and space again.