Gain insight into Lao gastronomic culture with a guided visit to Vientiane’s largest fresh market. Taste and tour your way through endless rows of stalls selling a vast range of fresh produce—exotic spices, fresh herbs, distinctive sauces, and the nation’s renowned sticky rice.
Once you’ve met your guide and your fellow travelers, hop on a tuk tuk and motor to Talat Thong Khan Kham, the city's biggest fresh market. Let your guide lead the way as you meander through the extensive maze of food vendors. Watch locals barter for chilies, lemongrass, galangal, coriander, kaffir lime, and mint—some of the ingredients essential to Lao cuisine.
Throughout the market, an abundance of stalls sell rice, predominately Khao Niaow, or sticky rice. Your local guide explains the importance of this rice in Laos and its role as one of the fundamental bases of Lao cooking. Breathe in the distinctive fragrance of Padaek—Lao fish sauce—which is used to flavor many traditional dishes.
Along the way, you have the chance to sample a variety of Lao specialties. Depending on the season, you might taste Khao Tom—sweet bananas and sticky rice cooked in a banana leaf—or Khao Jii—grilled sticky rice dipped in egg.
Unwind at a family-run café that's off the beaten tourist track. Sit and relax with a Lao coffee sweetened with condensed milk. The final tasting of your tour is an indulgent serving of mango and sticky rice pancake, a favorite local dessert.