|Food & Drink
Rice, particularly sticky
rice, is the staple food and dishes are Indo-Chinese in flavour
and presentation. Lao food is sold in the small shops in the markets.
Several pretty good French restaurants are available in Vientiane,
catering primarily to the diplomatic community. Croissants
and baguettes are usually eaten for breakfast.
Lao lao (rice whisky) is a favourite and there are 2 brands
available. Lao beer is also very good.
Several discotheques are available in Vientiane and they usually provide
live Lao bands. Most large hotels have their own nightclubs.
The markets in Luang Prabang and Vientiane, about 40 minutes by
air from Vientiane are well worth visiting. Silk, silver
jewellery and handmade shirts are good bargains. Although
most shops have fixed prices, bartering is still recommended
for antiques and other art objects.
hours: Monday-Friday 8.00 am - 4.00 pm; Monday-Saturday 9.00 am - 9.00 pm
Most festivals are linked to Buddhist holidays.
The below is a list of events taking place in 2006:
||Magha Puja (anniversary of
a speech held by the Buddha), nationwide
||Pi Mai (celebrations for the
new lunar year), nationwide
||Visakha Bu-saa (Buddha’s
birth, enlightenment and
death), nationwide; Bun Bang Fai (Rocket Festival),
||Haw Khao Padap Din (Festival
of the Dead) nationwide
||Ok Phansa Boat Race Festival,
||Pha That Luang Festival (processions
of monks receiving alms and floral votives; fireworks
and music), Vientiane
Religious beliefs must be respected.
Laotians should not be touched on the head.
Handshaking is not very common, Lao people greet each
other with their palms together and a slight bowing of the
Be careful when discussing politics and similar subjects
so as not to cause offence.
Shorts or revealing clothes are not widely acceptable.
Practiced modestly in restaurants and hotels.