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“Our best day in Vientiane”
Review of Lao Experiences

Lao Experiences
Ranked #12 of 76 things to do in Vientiane
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Attraction details
Owner description: Lao Experiences offers Lao cooking and culture in Nook's garden by the Mekong River. Learn about ingredients you will use to create your Lao lunch. Make a variety of popular Lao dishes using traditional implements and techniques. Learn secrets of making perfect sticky rice. Meet at The Full Moon Cafe at 8:00am for our Fresh Market Tour & Tasting, 10am for our Lao Cooking Course. Book and pay at The Full Moon Cafe (Rue Francois Ngin) Riverside Precinct the previous day.
Broome, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
113 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
“Our best day in Vientiane”
Reviewed April 19, 2014

We booked and paid for the combination market tour and cooking class. We were lucky as it was the first class after being closed for Laos New year and we were the only 2 on the tour. Gave us a great, personal tour and the chance to talk and get to know Nook our guide and cooking teacher. She was great, easy to talk to, taught us some Lao culture and language and had a great sense of humour.
Started in the local markets and got a great insight to the different types and quality of Lao rice, vegetables, fruits, meats and seafoods. Had a taste if fresh, young coconut which was very refreshing. Nook knew her stuff and could answer any questions we had.
Then we were taken to a local, out of the way little restaurant you would never find without Nook. We were given Lao coffee, green tea and sweet, sticky rice pancakes with mango. Great food and all included in the tour price.
Then it was off to Nook's cooking class that happens in the outdoor area of her house. A great shady area that was so cool compared to the savage heat out in the sun.
We were taught to cook a number of Lao favourites, steamed fish in banana leaf, sticky rice, spicy tomato dip, eggplant dip, green papaya salad and Laap Gai (spicy minced chicken salad). Again Nook was great and would change the amount of heat you put into your dishes depending on your tolerance to chilli. She gave really good, easy to understand instruction and when you were finished, you ate your own Lao feast.
It is a great tour and I would highly recommend it to anyone visiting Vientiane.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
Thank Mark D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Sydney
Level 6 Contributor
73 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Vientiane city tour”
Reviewed April 13, 2014 via mobile

Collected from our hotel at 9.am, we left it in the hands of our expert English-speaking guide from Indochina tours to take us to some places of interest. Our program until 4pm was enough for us to see some important places in Vientiane.
First stop was to see the emerald Buddha temple, where we were given comprehensive information on the history & culture of Laos. As we approached the temple, whose gardens are beautiful & immaculately kept, we removed our shoes just past the intricately carved dragons guarding the temple.
Our guide was able to elucidate some interesting facts about the temple such as the burning of many temples when the Siamese attacked Vientiane around the 18th century.
Sadly the large Buddha inside temple was no longer emerald, the original having been spirited away to Bangkok during the war for safekeeping.
Next to the temple is the kings' palace, now occupied by the President. So we could only peer through the gilt gates to see the extensive manicured gardens.
Back to the van to see the Victory Monument, a large edifice very similar to the Arc de Triomph in Paris, celebrating departure of the French from Laos.
Michaelangelo would have approved of the art work on the high domed ceiling, depicting religious & historical scenes.
After obtaining our ticket to enter (all entry fees are covered in the tour price) we walked up three flights of stairs to the roof. Each floor boasts market-type stores selling souvenirs.
The view over Vientiane form the roof is excellent, & when the fountain (part of the manicured gardens surrounding the monument) is turned on in the afternoon it's a pretty impressive sight.
Next stop the magnificent Golden Stupa. Many Buddhas in 2 tiers numbering over a thousand, are located in the surrounding walkways.
Our last stop were the markets, both old & new. This was a good way to briefly acquaint ourselves with a new city whilst learning about its history & culture.

Helpful?
Thank suzanf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peregian Beach, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Local sophistication”
Reviewed March 11, 2014

Our first sighting of Nouk at 8am revealed a well dressed, charming woman. An easy conversationalist, we got to know her as we rode to the extensive local market. She was as fascinated by the great range of local produce as we were and we spent an enjoyable couple hours touring the market. Then the tuk-tuk ride took us to her stilt house near the river. We relaxed in her garden and car port as she, with her helper, prepared for our cooking class. Even for a novice cook it was a non-threatening experience and for lunch we produced an amazing array of authentic Lao food which we thoroughly enjoyed eating. The company of another couple in the class enhanced our experience. For us it was definitely the best experience in Vientiane.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
Thank noelandrob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tokyo, Japan
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great food, great experience -- just reconfirm in advance!”
Reviewed February 14, 2014

I signed up for both the food market tour and the cooking class. Wanting to take the class on Wed., I went to Full Moon Cafe on Tuesday afternoon to pay for and reserve my spot. I show up as told, at 8am on Wednesday, and waited 15 minutes for the teacher to arrive. She asked me then to switch my class to the following day (Thurs), as nobody else had signed up for Wed. And by asking, she meant I had no other choice. So... not such a great start, but I figured this might be the Lao way, so just accepted (after some discussion). The following day, I got a private tour of the market (nobody else had signed up)-- it was great! Although Nook's English is not outstanding, she was very eager to introduce me to the ways of her local market. :) I got to sample many things, and talked to her about Lao life. The cooking class was held in Nook's garden, a beautiful and tranquil house away from the city center. Everything was well-organized, and it was nice that we each got to make our own dishes, to our own liking. Above all, the finished dishes were absolutely delicious! Definitely the best Lao food I ate during my week long stay there. This was certainly a great and memorable experience, and I am so glad I did this-- I just hope they come up with some sort of good reconfirmation system so people don't go through what I did.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank emi-mimo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
“Great and interesting experience with the lovely Nook as your teacher.”
Reviewed February 2, 2014

I booked the marktettour and the cookingclass. At the market Nook told us about different products. It's nice that you're with a local who can explain you in english because oftewel the people at the market speak just a few words if you're lucky. The cookingclass took place in a beautiful quiet garden outside of the touristic area. You make your own individual dishes so you really learn and experience how to do it. Nook likes to laugh and is easy going, knows a lot about lao food and speaks pretty good english what makes her a great teacher. It might be a little expensive but for me ot was totally worth it.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
Thank Geeske86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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