For a sleepy, off-the-beaten-path country, Laos has some excellent dining options. Choices in Luang Prabang and Vientiane are endless, among them high-end French restaurants; Japanese, Thai, Indian, and pizza places; and fantastic bakeries and coffee shops. In smaller locales, you might have to make do with sticky rice and grilled meats or fish, but most towns have at least one or two fancier places with decent menus. Lao food is similar to Thai, but not quite as spicy or varied. Vietnamese pho noodles are widely available, and the same goes for baguette sandwiches, which are a convenient option for bus trips.

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