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Food Lover’s Guide to Luang Prabang

Food Lover’s Guide to Luang Prabang

Lao food differs from the cuisine in neighboring Thailand. The influence of French colonial rule on Laos shows in staples such as baguettes as well as in the great-value French fare to be found in major cities. However, every region of Laos boasts its own unique specialties. Here are a few foods and activities not to miss when you’re in Luang Prabang.

Must-Try Dishes

Laos runs on sticky rice and fish, served every which way, but there are plenty of other dishes to discover. Be sure to try laap, a spicy salad of minced, marinated meat or fish that can be served raw or cooked; the breakfast noodle soup feu, Laos’ answer to Vietnam’s pho; and tam mak hoong, a tangy salad made with green papaya. Kaipen —dried river weed, Luang Prabang’s answer to Japanese nori—and the herbaceous, spicy pork sausage known as sai oua are city signatures. No Luang Prabang night out would be complete without a bottle of the national brew, Beer Lao, and a shot of the rice “whiskey” known as lao-lao, but you may want to avoid consuming versions that contain animals.

Must-Do Experiences

  • Rise early to see a morning market in full swing, soon after the monks parade through the streets in search of alms.
  • Take a cooking class with a local family in a traditional home.
  • Discover local specialties at Khaiphaen, a restaurant that trains street children and vulnerable youth for hospitality careers.
  • Sip a cold Beer Lao as the sun sinks into the Mekong.
  • Savor a street food feast at the night market.
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5 Tours and Activities

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Early Morning Alms Giving and Wet Market

Early Morning Alms Giving and Wet Market

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Take part in a Luang Prabang alms giving ceremony on an early morning tour that’s a fascinating introduction to Laos’ Buddhist traditions. You can simply watch as a procession of robed, barefoot monks walk by, or join in by presenting a monk with an offering of food, receiving a Buddhist blessing in return.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$56.42
Price varies by group size
From
$56.42
Price varies by group size

Traditional Market Tour and Private Laotian Cooking Class with a Local

Traditional Market Tour and Private Laotian Cooking Class with a Local

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Don’t just eat delicious Laotian dishes, learn to cook them yourself during a cooking class and market tour in Luang Prabang. Exploring the market with a guide means that you’ll overcome the language barrier and discover exotic ingredients that you may otherwise have missed. Plus, opting for this private tour means that you’ll receive the undivided attention of your guide.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$57.44
Price varies by group size
From
$57.44
Price varies by group size

Luang Prabang Street Food and Biking Tour

Luang Prabang Street Food and Biking Tour

Explore Luang Prabang and get your taste buds going by trying local street food and visiting food manufacturing places not seen by tourists. The walking and cycling is easy, takes only a half day, and was designed to allow you to safely try different local foods and discover places you wouldn’t otherwise go and have some fun along the way.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$32.83
Price varies by group size
From
$32.83
Price varies by group size

Alms giving ceremony and morning market with taste of local food and dinks

Alms giving ceremony and morning market with taste of local food and dinks

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Buddhism is at the center of Lao culture. Rise early to photograph—or even join in—Luang Prabang’s morning alms-giving ritual, when citizens offer gifts of food to a procession of saffron-robed monks. Once the alms-giving is finished, experience another early ritual, the morning market, with breakfast in a simple eatery. A guide ensures you participate in the right way, while 2-way hotel transfers guarantee you arrive on time.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$30.77
Price varies by group size
From
$30.77
Price varies by group size

Lao Cooking Class in Luang Prabang

Lao Cooking Class in Luang Prabang

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Work alongside local chefs during this popular Laos cooking class in Luang Prabang. Pick ingredients from the garden and learn about local herbs and produce that go into some of the nation's most flavorful dishes. Sample your creations and gain a deeper understanding of this cuisine during this memorable, interactive, small-group experience.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$57.00
From
$57.00