The range of food at the Moukdavanh Restaurant is not huge — this is Pak Beng after all, where not a lot of fresh produce is available and the number of diners is unpredictable. But the setting is fantastic and what they do rustle up is good. The standard backpacker range of ‘Lao style’ dishes is offered. For breakfast, the pancakes are thick and dripping with sweetened condensed milk – delicious! Dishes are priced at 8,000-15,000 kip.The restaurant itself is on a balcony, underneath Dokkhoune Guesthouse, and overlooking a stunning stretch of the Mekong. 

On the main street, you’ll find the small, bamboo Ouanhouan Restaurant which is a good choice if you want cheap, tasty Lao food. The menu isn’t extensive, but it caters to many locals – always a good sign. The laap is especially tasty. The restaurant is open from early morning until about 21:00. Bring a phrase book if you want any meaningful communication.

For a more ‘Lao’ experience, head up to the early morning market and have a look at all the local produce including dried buffalo skin, frogs on sticks, pigs face and buffalo hooves. Perhaps purchase a few Lao sweets, such as coconut jelly, fried bananas or sweet donuts, or have a delicious filling breakfast of noodle soup, at 5,000 kip a bowl (without meat is bo sai sin).