A GUIDE TO CAFES IN LUANG PRABANG
A place on my SE Asia itinerary I hadn’t given much thought to before visiting. In fact, Laos was a country that almost didn’t even make the initial trip cut.
Once I decided I couldn’t miss it while in that part of the world with a relatively free schedule, I had to decide on where to visit in Laos.
Opinions will vary, but based on what I read and saw in photos, Luang Prabang intrigued me a bit more than Vientiane or Vang Vieng.
Described as a place with the charm of Paris and vibe of Bali, it sounded like the perfect place to chill for a few days.
Sure enough, with only three days in Luang Prabang, I fell hard.
One of my favourite things about the sleepy town?
Its delightful cafes, beautiful and relaxing.
When I visited Luang Prabang, it was also the Laos New Year, which meant many places were closed or on limiting operating schedules.
Albeit my time in Laos was short and I only saw a small part of what the town had to offer, I developed an affinity so strong for a few places, I couldn’t help going back several times.
If you’re in Laos, don’t miss visiting these three cafes in Luang Prabang.
Saffron: Best place for coffee in Luang Prabang, no question.
Their cold drip is phenomenal. And, their mango smoothies are pretty great, too.
There are two locations- the one along the river is bigger, has a roasting room you can visit, and an air-conditioned upstairs.
Sitting outside their riverside location with a morning cuppa is a beautiful way to cherish a slow morning in Luang Prabang.
Indigo Cafe: On my first night in Luang Prabang, I stumbled on Indigo Cafe- most places were closed, and with night having already fallen, I decided to pop in the first open place I found near the main street in town.
Indigo was so delicious and affordable, I came back every day. The menu is packed with Laos, Thai and Asian inspired eats, and plenty of beverages to sip. I ordered the khao soi (minced tofu, tomato, garlic, excellent salt ratio) and summer rolls daily, and delighted in the passion fruit cold brew one early morning.
Every day, I asked about the khao nom mor thod, a traditional Laotian dessert, but didn’t manage to try it until my last day in Luang Prabang- it was sold out every other time. If you visit and get the chance to try it, definitely do so- made from sticky rice, banana, coconut milk and salt, it’s perfectly savoury and sweet.
In the back of Indigo Cafe, you’ll find a small artesian shop with beautiful textiles, jewelry and bags.
Bonus: Sit up front for excellent people watching at the famed night market.
Utopia: A backpacker’s paradise. Utopia is open air with plenty of floor cushions, lounge chairs and tables to hang at.
Their smoothies are fresh, menu extensive, and there’s plenty of beer and wine on offer. I tried one of the mango smoothies and a Laos speciality, laap (vegetarian, of course).
Spending a few hours reading here, while gazing at the Mekong below and setting sun in the distance was the absolute best way to wrap up my visit to Laos.
Have you ever been to Laos? Would you visit these cafes in Luang Prabang?
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