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harrison Dec 16th, 2004 10:04 AM

Luang Prabang/Hanoi - Good Bars, Restaurants?
I'm off to Vietnam and Laos next Monday. Any good, memorable bars, restaurants to recommend in Hanoi or especially, Luang Prabang. I'm NOT looking for sport bars.

Kathie Dec 16th, 2004 10:43 AM

The restaurant I loved in LP was the upstairs restaurant at the Villa Santi. We had lovely, long lunches there, sitting on the balcony overlooking the street.

I did a long review of Hanoi restaurants last year about this time. If you search on Hanoi restaurants on this board you should find the post.

hobbes Dec 16th, 2004 01:46 PM

In Luang Prabang if you are not staying there make the effort to go to the Pansea Phou Vao for a meal. We stayed there and I would not recommend the hotel to anyone for acco but the restaurant is charming, food is good and if you go during the day you will be able to see the gorgeously landscaped property.

In Hanoi we enjoyed Wild Rice, Hoan Kiem - 9438896, Bobby Chinn for both cocktails and food tho it is not cheap , Hoan Kiem - 934 8577, Bamboo Bar at the Metropole, Hoa Sua which is a bit out of the way but has the added feature that it is a training school so you see young Vietnamese being trained in table waiting, Ha Hoi St - 942 4448.

Craig Dec 16th, 2004 02:35 PM

Hobbes, I am thinking of LP as one of my destinations for a Thailand - Cambodia - Laos trip in 2006 - I realize that you favor Auberge Caleo (?) for its small boutique hotel atmosphere. Why did you not like the Pansea? Also, are you and Sameera_Anand one and the same?

hobbes Dec 16th, 2004 05:39 PM

Yes, I and the said are one and the same...our problem with Pansea was largely the extremely arrogant, rude French manager of the hotel. He did not even provide us with some of the facilities advertised on the website eg a half day guided tour of the hotel. Also, IMO the rooms are beautiful but impractical. Finally, with hindsight I would choose to be in a hotel on the LP main road as the charm of the city to me lies in how small it is. The Pansea location is too resorty for LP for me. Re Auberge Calao as we travel my partner and I are increasingly tending to favour small boutique properties to lrager hotels - we enjoy the ambience, the intimate atmosphere, the privacy - you could also in a lower budget consider Sayos Guesthouse in LP which is just 6 rooms.

Kathie Dec 16th, 2004 07:28 PM

Craig, You've probably read my review of the Pansea from my stay there two years ago. Briefly, we loved it. It's larger than the tiny guesthouses in LP, but it's still only 32 rooms. I'm not sure what hobbes means by the rooms being beautiful but impractical. We liked the lovely, large rooms and beautiful bathrooms. We spent lots of time on the balcony overlooking the pool. We appreciated having the swimming pool.

We had a nice experience with the French manager - he was very helpful and accommodating.

While we had tried to get one of the small guesthouses that had formerly been the residence of one of the royal family, we were unable to get reservations even six months in advance. That's why we ended up at the Pansea. We may return to LP next year. If we do we'd stay at the Pansea again.

Margo Dec 17th, 2004 05:16 AM

I agree with Kathie on her review of the Pansea Phou Vao which is now called La Residence Phou Vao. I stayed there 3 nights in November. It was a lovely place to stay with polished rosewood floors and all conveniences needed. The French manager was quite helpful when the AC in our room blew a fuse while we were out taking a boat trip up the Mekong River. When we returned to the room it was about 90F. A call to the manager had that fixed in short order.
The dining area could not have been nicer--it overlooked the pool that over looked a distant view of a temple on a far hill. The food was excellent for breakfast and for dinner.
If you are eating in town, I would strongly suggest L'Elephant. Also 3 Nagas which, I think, is run by the same people.

Jim0884 Dec 19th, 2004 09:23 AM

Kathie, you mentioned your LP travel report...i have been searching for it but cannot find. What search words would help?

MaryW Dec 19th, 2004 11:00 PM

Luang Prabang - in the old town there is a lovely restaurant called L'Elephant run by a frenchman but also doing some Lao food. This same man also does the food at the 3 Nagas guesthouse which is good and the 3 Nagas Lao restaurant (opposite 3 nagas) The 3 Nagas Lao was very good and I'd highly recommend it. Same management just down the road at a cafe - sorry can't think of the name - also good and a bit more cafe and down market. All easy to find - everyone knows L'Elephant - and all in the top part of the old town near to the main temples. Have fun - LP is a lovely place - we plan on heading back again next year.

elr Dec 20th, 2004 09:48 AM

this was one of my favorite coffee shops/restaurants in Hanoi
Cafe Pho Co
11 Pho Hang Gai
Hoan Kiem District

just a warning: it's very difficult to find; you need to walk through a souvinier shop to find it.

I returned for a monthlong trip to SEA about 10 days ago. As far as restaurants in LP, we ate amost everynight at the market. Also, one of our more memorable meals was at one of the restaurants along the banks of the Mekong. There are several, but the one we loved was right across from the Sala Prabang hotel.

have fun.

Kathie Dec 20th, 2004 07:34 PM

Jim, I just topped my old report on Luang Prabang for you. It's not as detailed as many of my reports, but it may be of help to you.

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