Mocha Mondays is a new and semi-regular feature on cafes and how workable they are, for freelancers or students looking for a place to park themselves at while getting work done. It may or may not actually feature mocha.
So, Vientiane, Laos, was surprising to me – in that all the pre-trip research I did showed a chill sorta city, with not much by the way of bucket list sorta attractions. You know the type: 10 things you must see in XXX, 25 awesome things to visit in XXX, und so weiter. Nothing anywhere told me that the city would be a hotbed of smiles, a budding cafe-lover’s dream, a dusty bank of sandy sunsets. But it was, and so here I am. For this week’s Mocha Monday, I thought I’d do a Vientiane special on a few cafes I hit up while in the city which I personally enjoyed, all of which are conveniently located walking distance from one another!
The coffee itself was smooth, and I would imagine – a hit with tourists or travellers keen on the safer options after spending some time experimenting with the kick of traditional laotian coffee. I had a flat white, which was recommended by the barista, and I can’t decide if I liked that or the beautiful atmosphere with gorgeous natural lighting better. What sealed the deal for me though, was the friendliness of the barista there – easily the friendliest of all the cafes we hit. He grew up in Wellington, New Zealand, and cheerfully informed us that his best friend was one of the dwarves in the Hobbit.
And isn’t that the best part of travelling? Meeting new people, exchanging stories? We spent a good hour and a half just relaxing in the cafe, chatting casually with him and amongst ourselves, after which he pointed us in the right direction to the best spot in town for catching the sunset. Score!
Opposite Lao Development Bank, Vientiane 01000, Laos
I don’t know why i am doing this when i actually hate the show but ok.
*Please make exceptions for errors in translation mainly because my German is very, very basic and I may have misunderstood him at some points..
Le Trio Coffee
Setthathirath Road, Vientiane, Laos
I like that Naked has great informative chalkboards around the cafe which double as beautiful decorative pieces. They’ve got this huge chalked poster detailing main coffee growing areas around the world spanning one wall, then frames that teach you what the different types of coffee are or what kind of latte art are common/ available. I requested a peacock after looking at their boards (the peacock design isn’t pictured in this board):
Not bad, huh.
I had a macchiato, but I have to say, though, that their iced mocha deserves a sort of special mention. It was really.. quite remarkable. It was icy but not dilute in the least, it was the kind of gao milo-dreams are made of, it was a pure shot of chocolate. I loved it. Definitely order this if you’re going to be in the area.
Dongpalan Road, Vientiane, Laos
Common Grounds Cafe and Bakery
Chao Anou Road, Vientiane, Laos
Bonus round! Not a cafe in the traditional sense of the word, but…
Seriously though. The fruit shakes here are extremely affordable, and they do serve coffee / coffee blend options too. I had a banana-coffee shake which was very interesting, but the mint-lime concoction you see above was a hands down winner. It was refreshing, delicious, and extremely photogenic. So perfect after a day in the hot Laotian sun. Love!
House of Fruit Shakes
Th Samsenthai, Vientiane, Laos
Alright, that wraps up my Mocha Monday Vientiane Special! I hope this helps anyone headed to Vientiane, and otherwise, I hope it inspires you to one day put Vientiane on your radar of destinations within Southeast Asia. Thanks again to the Unravel Travel SG team and Changi Airport Group for sending me here, and here’s to more adventures to come. This trip was a sort of prelude to the Unravel Travel competition held shortly after my trip’s end, and you can view the teams and their videos/entries here. I also filmed a couple of episodes of a Laos travel series for them, which you can watch below:
Till next time!