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Breakfast in Asia

On our recent trip to Laos, we were not expecting to be blown away by the food but were very pleasantly surprised at not only the variety of food we encountered but also the freshness and quality. And all very do-able in a Western kitchen, as you can see from our Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24 dinner!

One aspect of the food that left something to be desired was the breakfast. Since it’s not on most people’s list of countries to visit when they do the “circuit” in Asia, it’s far less touristy than, say Thailand or Vietnam. I guess as a consequence, the Lao people tend to be super friendly and eager to please the relatively few tourists who visit their country and one of the ways in which they try is by offering what they call an “American breakfast”.

Why they feel they need to offer this, I don’t know. I mean, we weren’t in Laos to eat Western style food, that’s for sure. Neil was prepared to get into the swing of things when we met in Bangkok on our way to Laos by ordering some noodle soup for breakfast:


We both love the noodle soup. Heck, we even missed the noodle soup so much we had to go on the hunt for it a couple of weekends ago

Me, I had a taste of what was to come that morning as I ordered a “continental breakfast” and received the first of many day-glo foods:


along with:


Gotta love the “continental” white bread… and check out the psychedelic jam:


“Interesting” choices abounded in Laos…

Sometimes we got lucky and there was some Asian food available in the mornings:


Like fried rice…


Or stir-fried noodles.

And of course, the fruit was always wonderful:


Dragonfruit. Not as good as in a shake, but not bad.


Perfect snack-sized bananas.

There always seemed to be the day-glo jam:


And eggs any way you like:


Plain omelette,


scrambled,


or fried.

And then there was the “meat”:


Say no more.

Our plates generally tried to combine a bit of everything and we certainly took advantage of the Asian food if it was there:


A typical Mardi breakfast.


A typical Neil breakfast.

I think the pièce de résistance has got to be our huge hotel dining room in Savannakhet that didn’t offer a buffet, but a fancy sounding menu of items. Words are not necessary to describe what I received:


Uh huh.

I thankfully received a lovely baguette with this and proceeded to make an egg-white sandwich with lettuce, tomato and cucumber. The “meat” stayed behind.

Such a shame that they feel compelled to serve what they think tourists want. Because I think the majority of people who go to Laos are quite adventurous and would be open to Asian-style breakfast. Might not make for as interesting photography though!

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15 Responses to Breakfast in Asia

  1. Martha September 18, 2009 at 11:12 #

    I must say that James would LOVE the day-glo foods!

  2. mathildescuisine September 18, 2009 at 11:46 #

    It is a very interesting mix! From continental breakfast to rice and local fruits, it makes mornings interesting! I hope to have the chance to go to Laos one day…

  3. 5 Star Foodie September 18, 2009 at 16:26 #

    I am now officially hungry looking at all these lovely images of yummy breakfast foods!

  4. eatlivetravelwrite September 18, 2009 at 17:31 #

    Martha – yes, I can see the kid appeal.

    Mathilde – yes definitely interesting!

    5 Star – I even got a little hungry writing the post!

  5. penny aka jeroxie September 19, 2009 at 00:56 #

    Noodl soup for breakfast will set me for the day. Not too sure about the day-glo foods!muahahahaaa! I love dragon fruit. It will be in season soon over here I think.

  6. eatlivetravelwrite September 19, 2009 at 01:37 #

    Penny – yeah, I could get used to noodle soup too!!!

  7. high low September 19, 2009 at 13:02 #

    I'm with you on wanting local/ethnic food when I travel! (Though I get a kick out of seeing what's different on the McD menu even though I don't eat that stuff here).

  8. eatlivetravelwrite September 19, 2009 at 13:10 #

    High/Low – we also LOVE seeing what the local McDonalds has on offer. When Neil and I met in Morocco, on New Year's Day 2000 we took a horse and cart to McDonald's and tried to order a McRamadan "breaking the fast" meal but it was the wrong time of day….

  9. Lori September 19, 2009 at 16:33 #

    That noodle bowl looks so great. I've been interested in Laos since No Reservations featured it. We are headed to SE Asia next month, but we have to save Vietnam and Laos for a later trip. We were restricted due to not being in a positon to get a visa before.

    I love the small bananas. They have 5 or 6 varieties where we are in Brazil. The small ones are banana maca (banana apple) and there is an even smaller one called ouro. I love the maca ones though, they look similar to the ones you've pictured.

  10. eatlivetravelwrite September 19, 2009 at 17:29 #

    Lori – that No Reservations show on Laos was wonderful – I have watched it twice, once before and once after our trip. Have fun in SE Asia – can't wait to read all about it!

  11. Chowhound September 20, 2009 at 17:58 #

    In the Philippines, it is quite common to have the same sort of things for breakfast. We normally have fried rice, fried eggs and some sort of fried meat item like sausage, ham or bacon to go with the rice. Another popular item is the white bread loaf or the little buns called pan de sal and of course, stir-fried glass noodles with chicken, shrimp and veggies.

  12. eatlivetravelwrite September 20, 2009 at 20:21 #

    Chowhound – I LOVE the Asian style breakfasts!!!!

  13. Elin September 21, 2009 at 07:09 #

    Hi,
    The soup noodles looks appetizing…typical asian breakfast dish…mmm yummy :)

  14. eatlivetravelwrite September 21, 2009 at 10:50 #

    Elin – thanks for stopping by!

  15. The Best Family October 13, 2009 at 03:57 #

    the day-glo "orange juice" looks very much like the "juice" we had at one of our hotels in turkey this past summer. sort of like i remember tang from the 70s. sort of took me back to childhood.

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