Fiery and fragrant, with a refreshing touch of sour, food in Laos is as much about the experience as the taste, and our guides can take you to the very best cooking schools, markets and dining locations.
Allow the aromatic smoke to lazily drift over your table as the freshest fish is grilled next to the river it was caught in. Feel the heat of the steam that rises delicately from the wicker basket as you dig your fingers into the sticky rice and roll it into a ball to dip into a tangy sauce.
Let the gentle fragrance of lemongrass intensify as your pestle compounds it in the large stone mortar, before adding galangal, chilli, and ginger for an umami burst as you learn to cook, Laotian style.
Immerse yourself in the variety, colour and flavour of ingredients that give the local cuisine its distinctive taste on a local market shopping trip - although the dried insects may only be for the brave!
Hop on board a sunset cruise, or opt for an elegant setting overlooking the Mekong, as you enjoy the essential Sin Dat experience. Cook your selection of meats and fish from a small, charcoal-burning stove in the centre of your table.
Breathe in the intense aromas of gently simmering padaek (fish sauce), lemongrass, coriander leaves, chillies, galangal, soy, and lime juice as you create your own dishes in a cookery class.
Indulge in a gourmet breakfast hamper as the waters of the Kuang Si falls crash to the ground behind you. Arranged by the kitchen at the famed La Residence Phou Vao, Luang Prabang, the extensive hamper is the perfect match for the impressive falls.
Street markets entice you wherever you are in Laos, and we’ll help you see through the smoke to find Laos’ best laab.
This vibrant dish of minced meat brings your taste buds to life with subtle hits of zesty lime juice, fragrant fish sauce and refreshing herbs creating an explosion of tang.
Wake early to hear the sonorous bong of sticky rice being dropped into the metallic bowls of monks seeking alms.
Served in a lidded wicker basket, the rice is slightly crispy and has a subtle nutty flavour. Your mission is to master eating it with your fingers - pinch some, roll it into a ball and use it to mop up the sauce on your plate.
Baguettes, croissants and cheese are far from the only legacy of French rule here. Our guides can take you to the large petanque court in Luang Prabang that, rather handily, has plenty of food vendors nearby to make sure you are sufficiently fuelled for the game. Very few tourists join a game, so do expect some bemused looks from locals as you reveal whether or not your boule aim is true.
Tam mak hoong is a salad made from crunchy shreds of green papaya, with the juicy burst of ripe tomatoes and the fiery heat of chilies. Fish sauce and the zing of lime add an extra tingle.
Mok pa delivers a burst of intricately perfumed steam as you unwrap the herb-fragranced fish from its banana leaf case.
The rich aroma of garlic and ginger are the signature notes behind the complex flavours of traditional Lao stew, or lam.
Creamy coconut milk provides the springboard for the subtle flavours of the noodle soup, known as khao poon.
With its distinctive hint of French influence, the khao jee sandwich has the crunch of baguette giving way to a savoury pâté that mingles with tender slices of pork and fragrant herbs.
A two-week journey through Laos’ laid-back cities and rural landscapes, exploring the country’s rich cultural heritage, meeting the friendly locals and going on an adventure or two.