Eat and meet
SalavanSalavan is a small place -- most of the eating options are clustered around the central market. Denuxa is a real find, particularly by Salavan's standards, offering Lao food, Korean BBQ and sukiyaki in a house towards the river end of town. Your host -- and a provincial government official -- Xayadeth speaks English and German, courtesy of an eight year exchange programme in Leipzig, and sees a bright future in tourism to Salavan. He does admit however that this might take at least another five years of so. A great host and a very handy source of information on the region, don't miss stopping by to see him. His cook puts together some great food and the atmosphere is congenial and fun. Very popular with locals. Open daily, nights only. Recommended. Prices very reasonable -- try the snake soup. Another good option is Miss Vilaivane (Nang Kao) Restaurant which is just west of the market and has comfortable indoor seating, with very clean red tablecloths. Good and cheap Lao food is on offer via an English menu, but staff speak next to no English. Another place that's a local favourite worth exploring is the Hong Lek Restaurant, along the river. They serve freshly-caught river fish at tables with views of both the water and a rather extraordinary looking-pier. It's also a good place to try your hand at pa-tong, the Laos version of the game of boules. The best noodles in town are served up at Han Mae Pai (which means 'Mother Bamboo's Shop') at the three-way intersection along the road leading out of town. For good morning coffee, we recommend a change of venue to Ladda Cafe, near the market -- order up a khafay bon obalteen (coffee with ovaltine) and you'll get something that surprisingly resembles a hot cafe mocha.
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