Top things to do in The Middle Mekong

Top Choice Laotian in Huay Xai


The friendliest vibe in town: soak up the sunset view on its chill-out terrace decked in low cushions and an open-pit fire, and choose from freshly prepared organic Hmong food, wood-fired pizza, plenty of vegetarian…
Top Choice Indian in Pak Beng


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…
Lake in Sainyabuli

Nam Tien

To fully appreciate the charm of Sainyabuli's setting, drive 9km southwest to the Nam Tien reservoir-lake, access point for the Elephant Conservation Center. A restaurant here is perched above the dam, offering view…
Laotian in Huay Xai

Riverview Cafe

With its rattan ceiling dramatically on the verge of collapse and the thirsty walls peeling, Riverview Cafe (aka Muang Ner) might not look like much, but notice it's always full, and stand and catch the aromas from …
Bakery in Pak Beng

D.P Bakery

Fresh and bursting with doughy aromas, D.P is a great new spot for Western or healthy fruit breakfasts. And as well as mouthwatering pastries (get here early before they go), it makes good coffee, fruit shakes and i…
Laotian in Sainyabuli

Sainamhoung Restaurant

Contemplate the bamboo-banked river and the looming Pak Kimin massif as you dine on tasty Lao food. Dishes include delectable steamed fish, grilled meats and varied exotica such as fried crickets and wasps, and bamb…
Laotian in Huay Xai

Tavendeng Restaurant

Predominantly aimed at Thai tourists, this large wooden dining complex features live music and exotic foods such as frog and fried crocodile.
Buddhist Temple in Hongsa

Wat Simungkhun

The most characterful of Hongsa's several monasteries is Wat Simungkhun. Its hang song pa (initiation pavilion) is fashioned in attractive naive style while the archaic, muralled sǐm (ordination hall) sits on an odd…
Bar in Huay Xai

Bar How

Decked in old muskets and rice-paddy hats, Bar How is darkly atmospheric. By night a row of sinister-looking homemade lòw-lów (rice wine), infused with everything from blueberry to lychee, catches the low light and …
Cultural in Sainyabuli

Elephant Festival

The Elephant Festival is a vast two-day jamboree featuring music, theatre and many a beer tent as well as elephant parades and skills demonstrations. It's a popular event, though animal-welfare groups raise concerns…