Dining is a challenge in Muang Sing as many of the restaurants have closed.
Phou Iu II is the best and practically the only eating option – luckily it’s good. It’s a large menu of stir-fried meat and veg dishes with rice or noodles. The portions are big, ingredients fresh, prices reasonable and the food tasty. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. Even if you aren’t staying at this guesthouse, we recommend coming here for a meal or two.
Tailu Restaurant has downsized and moved across from its old location (which is now a Chinese business), a sign of the hard times in tourism. The owners are still welcoming and serve traditional Tai Lue cuisine, which is quite different from Lao food. The menu has English translations and explanations about Tai Lue dishes like crispy buffalo skin and young bamboo shoots stir fried with egg, lemongrass and soy sauce. They also do a cheap Western breakfast. A must try is the stir-fried “Muang Sing khao soi noodles,” a flat and wide fresh rice noodle that’s stir-fried with a fermented soybean paste and roasted chilli. With vegetables it’s only 15,000 kip. The owners here speak some English and it’s worthwhile to stop in during the day and order dinner in advance so the cook can go to the market and see what’s fresh.
You can try khao soi noodle soup at the morning market. There’s also a good noodle soup shop that serves Lao-style pho and fresh chewy khao piak rice noodles for a lunchtime fix. Follow the main street in the direction of the Chinese border, cross the small bridge over the Nam Sing river and it will be a few hundred metres on your left across from a tiny pharmacy. Look for the building shaded by hanging adverts and tables inside loaded with the usual noodle soup condiments and sauces.
If you’re out exploring the villages near the Chinese border, try stopping by Adima Guesthouse. Their restaurant pavilion is a tranquil spot overlooking paddy and the stir-fry dishes are cheap, ranging from 10,000 to 30,000 kip.