This little town along the Mekong has surprisingly delicious coffee and French pastries
Photos and text by Pamela Chow
A peaceful little village set along the banks of Nam Khan River and the giant Mekong River, Luang Prabang is the darling of Laos. In just a small area, the town compacts a mix of temples, museums, hostels, resorts, a night market, a morning market, spa retreats, convenience shops and bars.
And, surprisingly, great coffee and pastries. Its beans are grown locally in the hills just outside the town centre, and its pastries are a tasty testament to the country’s French colonial roots. Luang Prabang is now easily accessible via SilkAir’s new route to Laos.
Beckoned by the call of cafes lined up along Sakkaline Road just behind our hotel, we squeezed time between stops in our hectic schedule to fulfill one mission: Eat as much as we could. Armed with Lao Kip (the local currency), we took on the eats in the streets. Here are the best that we had.
1. Novelty Cafe
Hands-down the best we had on this trip, Novelty Cafe’s coffees will make any coffee lover’s heart flutter with just a whiff of its scent. The first sip is a delightfully creamy heaven that slides down easy; the second sip is more like a big gulp where you helplessly polish the giant mug clean.
The cafe sells bags of roasted coffee beans which, when ground, brewed and drunk with milk, tastes exactly the same. Travellers looking to while time away can play some card or board games here, or pore through a book from the shelves.
126 Ban Xiang Mouane, Sisavangvong Road, Luang Prabang, Laos.