Ban Anou Night Market in Vientiane, Laos
At a side alley near the junction where the busy Khun Bu Lom Road meets Chao Anou Road, an interesting little food market pops up at sundown.
Though just a block long, there are many exciting gastronomic finds here, offering visitors a good glimpse of the local cuisine, and possibly an economical take-away dinner!
When I dropped by after dark at eight-ish, the market was already in full swing, with each stall showcasing a wide and diverse variety of edibles, some presented in huge aluminum soup bowls, others displayed on plates or banana leaves. I immediately joined the rest of the locals and tourists in slowly browsing each stall, searching for something that would catch my attention. Most of the stalls offered food that were cooked earlier, and transported to the market for sale, though a few stalls were observed barbecuing meats and kebabs on the spot.
Prevalent were all varieties of grilled meats (from pigeons to pork to whole ducks), as well as a diversity of cooked dishes (stir-fried vegetables, curries, braised meats, steamed fish) to suit just about any palate. There were also a few stalls selling sweet desserts and drinks for those looking for a sweet treat. Deep-fried insects were on offer as well!
The food looked delicious and prices were just as appealing. A plate of deep-fried beetle larvae was 10,000kip (tasted quite like shrimps!) - I actually got convinced to buy a plateful after a friendly local lady offered me to try hers. A generous cut of crisp roast pork or half a juicy roast duck was just 20,000kip!
I thought Ban Anou Market was a great place to soak up the local atmosphere. In between searching for my own authentic Laotian dinner to avoiding hungry motorcyclists maneuvering their bikes between the stalls, I truly fell in love with that place.
For a full video experience of my time at Ban Anou Night Market, see below: