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.
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