A Galic Breakfast in Luang Prabang

Excuse me for being a bit self indulgent here, but breakfast can either make or break a destination for me.

I’ve eaten in some pretty nice places (the Sheraton on Jimbaran Bay, Bali is nice) and some not so great places (a hotel that turned out to be a brothel in the mountains of Turkey is one I’d like to forget) and Luang Prabang has one of my favourites.

Cafe Ban Wat Sene, Luang Prabang, Laos

A quiet breakfast at the Cafe Ban Wat Sene

The Cafe Ban Wat Sene in the main street opposite the school doesn’t look much different to many of the others but it has everything I look for.

A few small tables sit out on the street and one always has a reserved sign on it. Here, each morning, the same old European guys meet to read french newspapers, drink coffee and chat about the state of the world. You could be in a provincial town somewhere in France – except here its warm.

As you sit, you can hear the pleasant sound of the kids in the junior school across the road, playing, sweeping (they do a lot of that all over Asia) and reciting their lessons (just as I used to do back when the world was young). You also see the tourists as they shuffle into the main part of town to hook up with buses or minivans or rent bikes from the bike stand just up from the school (Luang Prabang town is flat and, with the exception of Pi Mai (Lao New Year) in April is an easy place to get around).

La Grande Set

La Grande Set


My favourite table (well actually it’s a small timber desk) for two is just inside one of the three doors. I prefer to be inside ’cause there’s less chance of somebody I don’t know speaking to me (as friendly locals and tourists are apt to do). I’m not much on speaking until I’ve had my breakfast.

Now there’s lots to choose from but I go straight for “La Grande Set” – with coffee. That’s poached eggs, bacon (not a lot but its good), bread, croissant, baguette,  jam and fresh fruit salad. Filling, and because its served on a small table you do need to use some method in its eating. For me, that’s a plus. I love method – a lot of guys do. You know, this goes here, that goes there, this is eaten first, that is left to last. The kind of thing that drives others mad but makes sense of the day for me.

Once done, I signal one of the incredibly thin young men who go about their duties as if in church to bring the ridiculously small bill and I’m ready for the day ahead.

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