Drink

The national drink of Laos is the tasty Beerlao, which can be found everywhere in Laos. The yellow logo with its tiger-head silhouette can be seen everywhere, and a large 640 ml bottle shouldn’t cost more than 10 to 12000 kip (around US$1) in restaurants. The brewery claims they have 99% market share, yet you can get Carlsberg (from the same brewery) and Heineken (imported from Thailand), and Tiger Beer is also trying to get into the market. However with Beer Lao the best tasting beer in Asia you don’t need to bother with the others.

Rice whiskey, known as lao-lao, is widely available and at less than US$0.30 per 750 ml bottle is the cheapest way to get hammered.

Lao coffee (kaafeh) is widely reckoned to be among the best in the world. It’s grown on the Bolaven Plateau in the south; the best brand is Lao Mountain Coffee. Unlike Thai coffees, Lao coffee is not adulterated with ground tamarind seed. To make sure you aren’t fed overpriced Nescafé instead, be sure to ask for kaafeh thung. By default, kaafeh lao comes with sugar and condensed milk; black coffee is kaafeh dam, coffee with milk (often, however, you’ll get non-dairy creamer) is kaafeh nom.

Tap water is not drinkable, but bottled water is cheap and widely available.

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