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Vang Vieng, Laos is a backpackers paradise with tons of young travelers looking to have a good time. Finding great street food that’s delicious and filling but won’t break the bank is easy to do. For vegetarians and carnivores alike, carts and stalls cary delectable goodies for every taste.
Delicious freshly baked bread is an indelible hold over in Laos from the French. Delicious greasy sandwiches wrapped in paper or placed in a styrofoam clamshell make for an easy on-the-go meal. Order them with eggs, chicken, or bacon and smothered in gooey cheese.
Watching the transformation of little balls of dough become fried pancakes is pretty amazing. Vendors smack the dough into a circle and fry it with an egg to crispy golden perfection. The pancake is then cut into bite-sized pieces and drizzled with your topping of choice. Condensed milk is a favorite, but you can opt for Nutella, honey or an assortment of other flavors then eat the pieces out of a bag with a toothpick.
The Lao have a culture of barbecue and Vang Vieng is no exception. Order a meat popsicle in fish, beef, chicken or pork and eat it off a bamboo skewer. Eating meat off the street might seem risky but if the stall appears to be clean and the meat is served hot off the coals you won’t have a problem.
There is nothing more refreshing after a long day of hiking or tubing than drinking coconut water though a straw fresh from the source. You’ll find vendors with impressive knife skills using a cleaver to hack the tops of these massive fruits to access the insides. When you’re finished, open the shell to snack on the coconut meat inside.
Who needs a cup? Order your iced cup of joe to go and you’ll get it double bagged in plastic with a straw. Choose from an assortment of flavor enhancers such as Ovaltine, chocolate, condensed milk, and sugar. Hang the beverage on your bike handlebars or simply enjoy the novelty of sipping your caffeine fix out of a sack.
Rather than salted and roasted, as is the preferred method of consumption in much of the West, the Lao boil their peanuts whole and serve them piping hot in the shell. Grab a bag of these delicious legumes and share with a friend. Soft on the inside and packed with protein, they make for a great snack on the go.
One tradition the French left on Laos is the prevalence of excellent breads and pastries. Pick up a muffin, doughnut, or pastry in a coffee shop or on the street to start your day off with a sweet treat. “Kanom” is the generic term for dessert food in the Lao language, and you’ll have your pick of baked and fried delicacies in Vang Vieng.