Tamarind Restaurant, Luang Prabang


Tamarind Restaurant is true to it’s claim: ’We are not a regular restaurant. We aim to introduce you to Laos’ relatively unknown cuisine by explaining and demonstrating Lao culinary customs.

It’s great to be able to try ‘taster plates as a light sampler of Lao flavours and textures.’


The sweet sticky rice with coconut palm sugar sauce is the best ever.


It has a lovely Nam Khan riverside setting, good prices and great, interesting food.


The drinks are also excellent.


Granitas $AUD 3.70 ($AUD 2.20 non-alcoholic, also lovely)
‘A refreshing, crushie ice slushie-style drink with a vodka kick’
Best to least
Watermelon and Chilli
Honey and Ginger
Lime and Lemongrass
Rosella and Lime (not so great)

Beer Lao15,000 kip ($AUD 2.20) for 600ml

Lao Coffee is 9,000 kip and served local style in true Tamarind commitment to authentic regional cuisine. The menu says ‘Lao coffee is blended with tamarind for a sour sweet blend. Different to western coffee, it does not have a strong caffeine kick. We serve it Lao style with a bottom layer of sweet [sweetened condensed] milk.’

Good cooking classes are also available, but these fill up fast.









Mekong Sunset River Cruise, Luang Prabang


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The platform behind the Palace in Luang Prabang is the best spot for taking photos and it’s great to have a sunset drink along the river, but another lovely way to experience the magnificent sunset over the Mekong is to wander down below and take a sunset cruise.

Usually 30,000 kip per person, prices can be negotiated for groups.
Take your own drinks and snacks.

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Luang Prabang food specialities


Luang Prabang’s particular food specialties are good to try while visiting and include sweet coconut biscuits….


dried buffalo which is good boiled and used in stews and also with sweet chilli dip…..


crispy deep fried Mekong river weed (great with a beer) .



Orlam (stew with plenty of dill)…


Green papaya salad (that differs to the green Papaaya salad as it uses a pungent fermented fish sauce )


smokey eggplant dip…


deep fried mushrooms…..


deep fried bamboo shoots….


Lao sausage..

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and Lao Salad (with a French inspired creamy egg based dressing)


Also, common are laap and red curries with sticky rice as well as the French inspired baguettes and croissants.

Tamarind restaurant and Dyen Sabai restaurant are good spots to try platters of Luang Prabang/Lao specialities…

Tamarind platters



Dyen Sabai platter




Bamboo Tree Cooking Class, Luang Prabang



Newly established Bamboo Tree Cooking Classes sees cooking teacher/chef Linda, who taught with the well respected Tum Tum Cheng Cooking Classes for ten years continuing to provide well run classes that are well priced and make efficient use of the time. Around $40 AUS includes the class, lunch, market tour, cocktail and cook book.

Located near Apsara Hotel and Tamarind Restaurant Bamboo Tree offers both morning (8:50-14:00) and evening classes (17:00-20:00).

email: bambootreelpg@live.com

phone: +856 20 2242 5499


Linda and her sister (who takes the market tour) are engaging and thoughtfully explain many aspects of Lao cuisine and local ingredients.


The class finishes with a lovely lunch of the dishes that the group has cooked, down by the Nam Khan River along with a Lao Lao whiskey cocktail.


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Sweet chilli dip paste                                        Sticky rice, coconut and banana dessert

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The class starts with a visit to Phosy local market.

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Dyen Sabai Restaurant, Luang Prabang



Part of Dyen Sabai’s appeal is it’s open sided hill side setting across the Nam Kham River. Easy to get to when the seasonal bridge is operating, but requires a boat ride across when the bridge is not available (due to high water levels).

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Well priced and offering happy hour two for one cocktails until 12-7pm, it has some great food that showcases local specialities. It’s an essential addition to your dinner itinerary and a well chosen Lonely planet top pick.


Entree platter 2 very good for trying a range of Luang Prabang specialties

The grilled lemon fish is a stand out dish but everything is excellent.

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Grilled lemon fish with chilli sauce                Fried eggplant with pork

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Stir fried chicken with basil                             Minced mushrooms with mint and herbs (also surprisingly very good!)

Best to book in the busy season, but this is easy to do ahead by emailing.

Tat Kuang Si Waterfalls Luang Prabang



The Luang Prabang Tat Kuang Si waterfalls are amazing and a great half day trip.

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The water is beautifully coloured and get for swimming, the forest cool and peaceful, and there’s good cafe (average price, good food) for lunch that overlooks the falls.You can also take your own picnic or buy food from the food stalls at the entrance to the falls.

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The chicken in red curry with sticky rice is wonderful (and better than the fish in red curry).

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For around $8 AUS (50,000 kip), you can book a seat in a minivan to travel by road ( around 40 mins each way). But the trip may well be best by boat (2hrs  one way+ 1hr  the other (due to river flow) 40,000 kip including 10 min tuk tuk ride each end) because the minivan is commonly full (even overbooked) making it pretty unpleasant if you end up in the back seat.

Once there, take the path that winds along the falls up to see the long drop at the top (a short, cool walk), then come back down to the picnic tables/cafe and swimming spots. Chnging rooms are provided.

(If you are keen on being the river by boat it is popular to travel from Luang Prabang to Northern Thailand (approx 250,000 kip per person including overnight at Pak Beng, bookable in Luang Prabang through travel agents like Green Discovery)).

Riverside Barbecue Restaurant, Luang Prabang


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The Riverside Barbecue Restuarant, along the Mekong, is a fun spot to try cooking your own meal, Lao style.

It’s good value, good fun and there’s a lovely river view. Go early to get a good table (book if you can) as it’s popular and fills fast.


For 60,000 kip adults 30,000 kip children, you can select from a huge range of meats and seafood, vegetables and noodles to cook at your table, by either barbecuing or cooking in broth. IMG_1153  IMG_1177

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A wide range of cooked entrees and some icecream and coconut desserts are also available in the price.

Clearly marked on the Lonely Planet map, follow the road from the baguette and fruit shake stalls/post office corner down to the Mekong. Turn right along the Mekong river road and look for the Riverside BBQ Restaurant sign.

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Coconut Garden Luang Prabang


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Coconut Garden Restaurant is very centrally located near the start of the night market and the other restaurants and travel agents, has a lovely garden setting at the front and back, indoor  seating upstairs with a great view, good bathroom and good food. It’s a great choice for lunch or dinner when you’re out and about town.

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The Laap are the best choices on the menu and the steamed fish in banana leaf is also good and better than the chicken in banana leaf.

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Chicken Laap                                                       Tofu Laap

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Steamed Chicken in Banana leaf                   ……and fish

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It is also a sister restaurant to L’Elephant and Cafe Ban Vat Sene.