Whilst a lot of food in Thailand and Laos is heavily spiced there are some simple things too. In Laos one of these simple dishes is barbecued meat. Every town we visited was littered with stalls selling barbecued chicken and pork sandwiched between bamboo skewers or barbecued sausages. Vang Vieng took it further though with a trio of stalls barbecueing big cuts of belly pork and pork ribs. Simple or not the pork belly blew my mind, jumping straight into the top 5 foods of the travels so far. There was crisp crackling, tender lean and juicy fat, seasoned to perfection and full of smoke flavour. Served in a plastic bag with another little plastic bag of chili sauce who could ask for more?
Another more frugal affair was boiled corn. Whether it's electronics on Tottenham Court Road or books on Charring Cross Road sellers like to stick together and in Luang Prabang it was no different with one street full of ladies under umbrellas selling sweetcorn.
For 1,000 kip, which is about 7p, you got a bundle of 3 pint sized sweetcorn, still in their husks and even though they're removed from a big plastic bag still piping hot. Judging on how they tasted I'm guessing they've not been harvested long either.