Photo: Suspension bridge in Muang Khua.

Eat and meet

The only traveller-restaurant in Muang Khua really catering to tourist tastes at all hours is the restaurant on the balcony of the Nam Ou Guesthouse. The setting is terrific, with a view up and down the river, of the mountains on the other side, and the activity on the port below. Only the rubbish that has been dumped on the riverbanks mars the view. The menu is quite extensive: fried rice and noodles, stir-fries and traditional dishes. Unfortunately, what can actually be served depends on available ingredients, but they do a good job with what they have.

Overlooking the river and on the ride hand side when walking up the hill from the river, both Laosamai and Sernnaly restaurants serve a good selection of Lao food with a few dishes that cater specifically for Western tastes, such as banana pancakes. The menus are written in Lao and English and the prices at both are very good. The views across the river are similar to those over at Nam Ou Guesthouse, but these particular restaurants receive far fewer customers. These spots are great for those people staying in one of the nearby guesthouses.

Sitting in between the Chaleunsouk and Keophilia Guesthouses on the right hand side as you walk up from the river is a Vietnamese restaurant serving up all sorts of dishes from Laos and Vietnam. We were particularly impressed with the pork dishes, but weren’t too impressed with their take on banana pancakes – as usual it’s best to stick to local food. The prices are good, portions fair and the taste quite good.

In the hot season, a small stall just up from the Nam Ou Guesthouse sells delicious ice cream.

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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Muang Khua? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Laos.

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