Jeow Bong is a smoky chilli and garlic paste traditionally made with buffalo hide. But Tamarind cafe - brilliant place - make a non-meat version which you can bring back to the UK without lawbreaking.
I just wish that I'd carried more jars of it home.
Pork candyfloss sounds vile, but is good. It's actually quite like a fluffy biltong. You can't ship it home so eat up while you're in Laos.
Tamarind will also organise morning trips to the market to look at the amazing variety of fruit and vegetables and also be grossed out by pig skin masks at the butchers.
Carolyn (who jointly runs Tamarind with her boyfriend Joy) is a fount of food knowledge.
Ban Wat Nong, Luang Prabang
The best place to try real Lao food: you get platters of interesting things to try. Fish barbeque Lao style is great fun and they had lovely gifts of food. Super friendly, not expensive and great drinks! Only open daytimes, but worth a visit.
It's opposite a temple called Wat Nong, lovely location actually, we listened to chanting monks while we ate.
Superb place for breakfast. I notice that one of the owners is a westerner: if he's not Australian, I'd be very surprised, because this place has a really Sydney feel about it. Decent coffee, papers from Bangkok to read, and a 'hang around as long as you like' vibe. Don't leave without trying the Bagel Egger: it'll set you up good for a day of cycling around temples.
Th Chao Fa Ngun (in the centre, and Luang Prabang is small, so you'll find it easily);
tel: 071 252292
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