Thailand and Laos cuisine – same same but different

Only when visiting to Thailand and Laos, you have already tasted many delicious and distinctive flavors. Here are 10 different points between Thailand and Laos cuisine. Let us see which points you do know about these things in your Indochina tours


Laos and Thailand people have some different tastes
Laos and Thailand people have some different tastes – Source:
  1. Thailand cuisine is more flavorful and colorful, almost.
  2. Laos food tends to be saltier but less lime.
  3. Thai cuisine tastes spicier than Laos. The fact is Thai people love spicy. So while cooking, they add more chilli to their meal. Somehow, this spicy flavor is quite different from other countries.
  4. A variety of seafood is in Thailand to taste. The reason is because of ocean surrounding, travelers can eat seafood easily.
  5. Laos has river weed, a special and traditional dish in this country that you can’t in anywhere else.  You can spell Kaipen as khaiphaen or khai pene, made from river weed harvested from the Mekong and other rivers in northern Laos. Women will wash and rinse the weeds to remove dirt, then putting it drain and dry. After that, they will soak the sheets with an aromatic dressing and then topping with sesame seeds, some thin slices of garlic, tomato, galangal or onion and dry in the sun for a day. If travelers love to eat, kaipen is served with jeow bong. This meal is very special and unique in Laos.


Kaipen is made from riverweed, a special kind in Laos
Kaipen is made from river weed, a special kind in Laos – Source:


  1. The papaya salad is always made with a fermented shrimp paste in Thailand. It would bring different taste and scare tourists sometimes. Moreover, papaya salad originates from Laos with spicy flavors but when coming to Thailand, this dish becomes sweeter. Laos tours


Papaya salad origins from Laos but then mixed into Thailand flavors
Papaya salad origins from Laos but then mixed into Thailand flavors – Source:
  1. Less sugar is in Laos cuisine, one of the most noticeable in their desserts and drinks, while the sugar is completely overwhelming in Thailand. If you order a Thai iced tea, the bartender would like to add a lot of sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk to the top. So if you do not want to have more sugar for your Thai food, you can say “Mai Sai Namdam” – “Do not put sugar”.


Thailand food tends to have more sugar in desserts and drinks than Laos’
Thailand food tends to have more sugar in desserts and drinks than Laos’ – Source:
  1. People can eat water buffalo in a hundreds of ways. You can have it like chips with your beer or special spicy chili paste. More than that, it is another type of protein for any dish besides chicken, pork, etc.
  2. The Laos people eat sticky rice frequently while the Thai prefer white rice for their meal.
  3. Generally, Laos cuisine is familiar with northern Thailand’s, especially Isan food. Isan food is a kind of combination between glutinous rice and chili peppers that is unique cuisine from the center of Thailand. Therefore, some dishes in both Thailand and Laos cuisine are combined with each other such as a variety of sweet and spicy sausages.

Besides 10 differences between Thailand and Laos cuisine, there are still many distinctive tastes and flavors for tourists to try. Therefore, it is our chance to experience not only beautiful landscapes but also tasty cuisine. Stay tuned!

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