Top things to do

Top Choice Cave in Vieng Xai

Vieng Xai Caves

Joining a truly fascinating 18-point tour is the only way to see Vieng Xai's seven most important war-shelter cave complexes, set in beautiful gardens backed by fabulous karst scenery. A local guide unlocks each sit…
Top Choice Italian in Phonsavan

Lao Falang Restaurant

Sister of Lao Falang Travel Service, this spacious, stylish and impeccably clean Italian restaurant is run by a friendly Genoese man who speaks four languages. Highly recommended for alchemising sirloin steak, lamb …
Top Choice Laotian in Udomxai

Souphailin Restaurant

Don't be fooled by the modest bamboo exterior of this backstreet gem – easily the tastiest Lao food in the city is served here. Friendly Souphailin creates culinary magic with her mok phaa (steamed fish in banana le…
Top Choice Laotian in Nong Khiaw

Coco Home Bar & Restaurant

Run by new owner Sebastien Chok, this recently refurbished impressive riverside oasis has a great menu, with dishes like papaya salad, mango sticky rice, chicken and cashew nuts, mok phaa (steamed fish in banana lea…
Top Choice Laotian in Muang Ngoi Neua

Gecko Bar & Shop

Handmade woven gifts and tea are for sale at this delightful, memorable little cafe two-thirds of the way down the main drag on your left heading south. There's a nice terrace to sit and read on, the owners are char…
Top Choice Cultural Centre in Phonsavan

Xieng Khouang UXO-Survivors' Information Centre

This unexploded ordnance (UXO) information centre and colourful, upbeat shop sells silk laptop bags, purses and handicrafts made by UXO survivors. Aside from displays including prosthetic limbs, wheelchairs and bomb…
Top Choice International in Luang Namtha

Bamboo Lounge

With its moss-green facade this place is the favourite in town for travellers, offering employment to young people from remote villages and donating over 2500 books to local schools. It's alluring by night with its …
Top Choice Indian in Pak Beng

Khopchaideu

Based at the Mekong Riverside Lodge, this place may serve some of the best Indian food you'll find in northern Laos. You can expect all the usual curries, as well as dishes like buffalo masala, executed with flair a…
Top Choice Laotian in Muang Ngoi Neua

Riverside Restaurant

Since being damaged by a storm Riverside has come back better than ever. In the evening its Chinese lanterns sway in the breeze on the decked terrace, beneath the sentinel arms of an enormous light-festooned mango t…
Top Choice Cafe in Sam Neua

Yuni Coffee

A blessing for coffee snobs: if you're missing standard lattes your caffeine privations are over. With battleship-grey walls and a choice selection of refrigerated sandwiches, fresh-baked baguettes and brownies, as …