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#WeekenderTravels: Cafe-Hopping In Luang Prabang

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.

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lebenneton

2. Le Banneton Cafe & French Bakery

From the minute we arrived in Laos, word of the famous Le Banneton croissants had been following us around. We knew we had to take a bite no matter how many other good cafes tempted us.

We were not disappointed. Le Banneton has a wide range of croissants stuffed and sprinkled with different treats, from coconut cream to almond flakes. I stood at the counter for a good ten minutes before finally selecting the almond and sugar-dusted croissant. Its crust was light, thin and crispy, and gave way to a soft and fluffy filling.

Sitting outside with our breakfast in the 20-degree morning air, we watched the monks picking up their daily routine in the temple just across the street. The peaceful scene called for a slow meal, but I couldn’t help scoffing down the croissant with gusto, and then calling another four to go.

46 Sakkaline Road, Luang Prabang, Laos.

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