Where to eat – Zuela Guesthouse and restaurant

The Zuela Guesthouse is rated number one in Luang Namtha on Tripadvisor but, quite understandably, most reviews focus almost entirely on the rooms. The accommodation, almost all agree, is clean, comfortable, very reasonably priced (around 80,000 kip per night at the time of writing) with friendly staff and a relaxing atmosphere. There are hot showers and passable WIFI (a solid and reliable internet connection can be elusive in Luang Namtha). Overall though one of the best guesthouses in Luang Namtha. It’s advisable to book early as they fill up fast especially in busier seasons.

Bikes and motorbikes/scooters are also available to rent (with a discount for guests) and they also offer a variety of trekking options as well as the option to book your onward travel out of Luang Namtha if you so desire.

 

Full House

Enough of the hearsay. Having been to the restaurant we can offer a first hand review! Tucked away down an alleyway just off the main street in Luang Namtha it would be easy to miss the Zuela Guesthouse or just choose to eat somewhere else. This would be a mistake. They offer an extensive, varied menu with both Western and Lao food at quite reasonable prices. You can also choose for more local Northern Laos delicacies such as Laap (minced meat, spices, dry fried and crushed rice grains and broth eaten with vegetables and sticky rice) and Jeow (a special chilli sauce which many dishes can be prepared with).

 

 There’s a chilled atmosphere and you can choose to sit either inside or in their well designed outdoor seating area. Staff are very friendly and speak good English with the menus too in excellent English – somewhat of a rarity in this province at this point.

I went for the vegetable spring rolls with a garlic dip as a side and a chicken and green bean stir fry. Both were great and service was faster than many places (Laos in general is pretty relaxed, eating especially is a slow paced affair though often the better for it). With a large Beer Lao to drink the bill came to just over 50,000 kip (about $6). With the portion sizes (the spring rolls were definitely a side to share) this was a bargain and I will definitely be back.

 

Advice: Go to Zuela on an empty stomach

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