food in Laos?
doing a 3 week tour in north Thailand and Laos, i know Thailand well but have not yet been to Laos. from what i have heard & read its much the same but about 20 years behind.
my plan is to hammock camp in the more remote areas and use cheap guesthouses in the towns.
my question is about how easy is it to get food on the road in Laos and keep lots of calories on board with out taking your own cooker etc?
basic route will be on highway 13 north then a left hand turn back towards Thailand.
going next month any info & tips welcome :-)
Food can be a funny thing in Laos. Most of time you'll have no problem finding something to eat. Just about everybody has something for sale, though at times it might just be uncooked eggs and cookies... I was cycling around in south in 2010 and usually had no issues finding somewhere to eat.
BTW, Lao food is usually really tasty. My favourite food country in SEA
check crazy guy for trip reports. from what i've heard/read, route 13 - cambodia to
Originally Posted by damo010
vientienne - is rather dull. 1000 km's of same-same. you'll be parallel to the river, but
won't have many views. they say the route on the thai side is much better.
that's what i've heard. i've never done that route. all my lao cycling has been in the
north. have always planned my routes stopping at towns/villages with guesthouses.
no trouble finding food. even the smallest of villages will have a convenience hut or
two selling water, soda, cookies, crackers, candy, and ramen noodles. they'll boil some
water if you ask.
My journal from SE Asia last year is still not done but the Laos portion is. Food is readily available on the road but it pays to have a few meals extra on you at all times because as others have said, the pickings can be slim at times. Overall it wasn't a problem. I carried a small alcohol stove and used it often for breakfast and the occasional dinner but didn't really need to. I thought the food was some of the worse in SE Asia personally but SE Asia food is very very good overall. I got gastro multiple times in Laos but never got it Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, or Myanmar so that was probably a factor in me not liking the taste. Here is my CGOAB http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/seavagabond
Originally Posted by damo010
I toured in northern Laos and although the food was usually not as varied as in Thailand, it was tasty. Noodle soup is ubiquitous. A handful of larger towns had an Indian restaurant which was a nice change from Lao cooking. There was only one time I was unable to find a place for a cooked dinner, but I was still able to find things to snack on that time. I've toured in 4 countries in SE Asia and never gotten sick anywhere.
Random advice about Lao/Cambodia (and to a lesser degree Vietnam/Thailand), don't order beef. It's generally water buffalo and it's rather like leather to chew.
The road south is rather nice I thought, rather quiet for a main highway and a lot of chances to see some rather nice sights if your willing to take random detours.
Beware that ATM's outside a few 'major' cites and tourist areas are incredibly uncommon, the same with internet. There are 'cities' there where these things don't exist. If you find an ATM that gives out 20k Kip notes, you've pay dirt. Breaking up 'larger' bills in Laos is a huge pain in the butt.
Enjoy Beer Lao and try to find Dark Beer Lao. It is one of the best beers in Asia.
thanks for the advise and link to crazy guy, very helpful and he did the same route that i had planned:-)