Laos Top Travel Street Food Guide


If you’re into good food and cheap beer, Laos is the destination for you. Right now we are in Vientiane in Laos, and we have an interesting afternoon planned. Today’s our day off. We’ve been filming for our new travel show, which premieres on Tastemade YouTube TV channel this fall, and we’re going to go explore the capital of Vientiane. So we’ve been here for the last couple of days. We’ve been on set. We pretty much sweated out every single article of clothing that we have. It’s humid. So it’s really hot and humid here, and we need to do some laundry. That’s first on our to-do list, but we’re also going to try to do something that’s a really a specialty from here, getting a custom-made tailored suit. That’s because Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam used to be what was called French Indochina, and the French brought the European tailoring to this part of the world, and it’s really affordable. You can get custom-made suit for under $100 So we’re going to do laundry. We’re going to get some street food, probably get a massage because those are pretty cheap here, as well. Five dollars. And try to get a custom suit. So let’s go. We’re at the tailor. It’s called Bin Tailor. Hopefully, they actually do custom suits here. This might just be like a menswear store. The first place that we were recommended, not actually a tailor, so one strike. That was not a wild goose chase. This is the promised land. We’re here. Nobody in here actually speaks English, and we don’t speak any Laos; we’re using Google Translate, downloaded the app; you load the language. Hopefully this works. The guy has called his boss. Marko’s on the phone with him explaining that we have less than 24 hours to get these suits made, so fingers crossed. I think that we might have to go to a different shop. The prices depend on the materials so you can’t just ask them for a quote because everything’s different quality. You can just see right here. They’re all different prices, and then you pay for the labor on top of that. I mean the main question is whether we can get it done in 24 hours because we leave tomorrow night at midnight. Two useful phrases in Lao sabaai-dii, which is hello and traditionally you greet people by clasping your hands together and doing a little prayer. Then the next one is khop jai, which means thank you or khop jai lai lai, which is thank you very much Wait a second guys. We just got led back to the first place But the guy on the phone said he can do custom suits here. Maybe the guy just was upstairs and wasn’t there, but we’ll see. if you’ve watched this vlog long enough, you know that occasionally we get sucked into some Marko wild goose chases. This could be one of them. I hate to say I told you so, but I told you so. Okay. Can we just do our laundry, get a massage, get a beer, eat some street food? All right, well we have accomplished one thing on our to-do list, which is the laundry. Granted, it’s the easiest thing to do. Getting a tailored suit in 24 hours is difficult. So we might try this again when we’re in Hong Kong. It’s also very famous place for tailoring. But now the afternoon is open. It’s raining like crazy. We’re here during Typhoon Maria. So there’s a lot of water being dumped in the Pacific. One thing that I’ve noticed here is that in Laos, often times your beer is served with ice. Laos is not a very developed country, so there’s not a lot of refrigeration. I think that’s why they serve the beer with ice, but the really cool thing here Is that in Laos when you get a beer the person who buys the beer pours the beer himself, first and then the rough translation is, ” To me.” I got this. It’s very funny. It might seem kind of strange to a westerner because we are usually, ” To you,” and we bought you a beer. It’s our gift But here it’s like I bought it, so cheers to me first, and then you pour the beer into one cup and pass the cup around until the whole bottle’s done and then open the second bottle. So quick introduction…. our friends joining us in today’s vlog are: Nathan from the previous Monaco vlog -assistant camera op, and Katie, the producer. I love it here. This is my favorite place we’ve been here on the show, without a doubt. The people here are fantastic- super nice. We had from two separate stores walk us over to the laundromat and translate for us. Who else is going to do that? Where else? They’re very friendly. They know that we’re just lost. We’re totally lost here. Lost in Laos. And everyone here is really funny. I don’t know how many times people will just be like all the women are just giggling at us all the time. We walk in and we’re trying to vlog and get suits and using Google Translate to try to say what we want and there’s (giggle) They just take us and lead us to the next place. It’s a little adventure. For me definitely, the best part about Laos is the food. It’s very unique; it’s definitely different. There’s a little bit of overlap with Thai food, a little bit of overlap with Vietnamese food. But it’s done in a very special way, in a very Laotian way. I am in the kitchen now and I think we should just get… let’s get in there and see what it’s like, see what it smells like, see what it looks like, see what it tastes like. Alright, moment of truth.. some quick little roadside noodles I feel that so many people come to Southeast Asia, and they skip this country. I’d say probably not a good call. There’s so much on offer here, and it really is not that touristy, which is great. We’re at the trip the dragon massage. Five dollars for one hour of massage. Let’s do it. He says his shop is famous for the foot massage. So I think we’re going to start with a foot massage and then maybe get a shoulder massage or something like that. This is a guy rubbing his giant belly. Is this not amazing? Here’s the belly button. It’s actually just you rubbing his giant Buddha belly. My favorite part is his hands. Look at his tiny hands. Okay, we’re going to check back in with you in an hour. Both of us together was fourteen dollars and fourteen cents, and that was a generous use of the exchange rate. Very, very affordable and that lady’s elbow worked me. I feel so good. She was putting her knees into the back of my hamstrings and it hurt so good, but I feel amazing right now. It’s all about pressure points and stretching and acupressure, as you can see on this diagram here. Here you can see. This is the stomach. That’s the liver. It’s crazy. It’s good. It’s great deal. I think we should go eat more drink more. We have made our way to a little night market to grab some food, and there’s quite the array of delicacies on offer. Just behind me here is pretty much every single kabob imaginable: chicken feet, organs, an entire skewered little chicken with the head still on. Wow, look at that. That’s like a whole butchered pig right here. Look at that. That is the tail of the pig right there. There’s the snout, too. Street food in Southeast Asia is definitely the way to eat well on a budget. There’s tons of stuff here. One of the best things is just chicken. They take a whole breast of chicken all the way in the arm, and they roast that and that’s about 15,000 Kip which is about just under $2. There’s also fish that’s roasted in salt. There’s full duck. There’s an entire spatchcock chicken. There’s a bunch of pork, and the other night I found some funky stuff. I ate some variations of larb, which is like a basically a meat salad here. I had snail larb the other day. Would not recommend that, but duck, beef, and pork is all really good. Supposedly, it’s not pronounced larb. It’s lab, , and here in Laos, it’s actually called goy. Yes, so that’s a dish that a lot of people associated with Thai food, but actually does come from here in Laos. It’s really good though. You can easily spend about 3 bucks and have a really good meal.. 5 bucks, you’re cruising, and 10 bucks, man you’re the king of the town. Vientiane has a lot of nightlife. Back in the 60s and 70s, this was an R&R spot for American soldiers who were fighting in the Vietnam War. So they were allowed clubs that were built up then. The country became communist since 1975, and they wiped out most of the clubs. But these days, there’s still quite a bit of nightlife. Even though we’re at that street food market, we’ve had a couple of nibbles. We popped inside of this little restaurant right next to it, and we’re going to have a hotpot. Thank you Nathan with the Laos ladies! Wow. It’s the mustache dude. It’s the mustache. This guy’s the full package. Yeah. Oh we didn’t get suits.. No, we didn’t but, we had a great day. More of an afternoon/ evening, but let’s not split hairs here. It was a fun time Vientiane was sick. Honestly, I was here nine years ago as a budget backpacker. I did not like the city, and in filming our episodes, I had a great time. We discovered another side of the city that I’d never experienced before. We will not let you know who was budget. You have to watch the episode to find that out, but let me just say this has transformed itself into a very big surprise for me, and now I would say one of my favourite cities here in Asia. I have never been to Laos, never been to Vientiane, and I would have to say that what I really loved about it is that it has all of the best things about Southeast Asia, and it’s lacking so many of the drawbacks of Southeast Asia. And one of those being over tourism. Yeah. Like you go to Thailand or you go to Bali and those are great places or beautiful places, but there is the downside of tourism being too many people and too much tourism that it actually changes the place that everybody wants to visit because it’s so cool. And that I feel like is not happening here. Laos is incredible. The people are super friendly. The food is incredible. It’s really affordable, and we would just like to encourage you on your next trip to Southeast Asia to stop through here. Stop in Lao, experience the culture, experience the food, and enjoy yourself. On that note, we’re going to go to bed. We’re tired and we’re going to Okinawa tomorrow to film the next episode of this show. So if you enjoyed the video, you know what to do: give it a big thumbs- up, share with your friends, subscribe and turn on notifications, if you haven’t already, and make sure to check out the show when it goes live in September of 2018 on Tastemade’s channel on YouTube TV. And in the meantime stay curious keep exploring. We’ll see you guys on the road. Peace

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