In Thailand many travellers learn to eat at เจ (je) restaurants. Je is a Thai/Theravada Buddhist dietary tradition that's more strict than vegetarian but different to vegan.

In Thailand even quite small towns usually have at least one "je" restaurant and usually you only have to walk around the streets looking for the distinctive yellow and red sign with the Thai เจ and/or Chinese character 齋:
Normal Thai เจ sign Thai เจ sign in style foreigners call "17" Chinese 齋 character

But I've been in Vientiane, Laos for over a month and a vegetarian friend just arrived. I had a quick look on a couple of maps and found no "je" restaurants here.

Is this one of the overlooked differences between Lao vs Thai culture?

  • 1
    I wonder if there are some under other name(s)?
    – Willeke
    Commented Dec 24, 2023 at 11:04
  • 1
    @Willeke Should just be ເຈ I think. But maybe I'm making an assumption? Commented Dec 24, 2023 at 15:23

2 Answers 2


I did a search on Vientiane vegan restaurants and randomly picked one of the sites: Eat Plants and Travel

The third entry is Vegan Reunion Cafe. The first paragraph on 'Why We Recommend It' says:

A small exclusively Vegan restaurant with an extensive menu containing over 200 different vegan dishes. Outside, Vegan Reunion Cafe is adorned with the ‘17’ symbol, which infers the restaurant follows ‘jay’ practises - a religion of sorts originating from China obtaining a special diet that is around 99.9% Vegan (oyster sauce, honey and egg options can be found in some Jay restaurants).

Address: XJ93+X54, Vientiane, Laos Hours: 8 am - 9 pm

Hah! The '17' is of course the symbol you referenced: เจ

The restaurant also has a large yellow and red sign.

They also list another 'jay' restaurant, Vegetarian Food Buffet.


Well, after this answer told me that some did exist I actually walked past a couple and took some photos.

Vegetarian Resturant Dongmieng

This one is on Dongmieng Road, just north of Asean Road.
I haven't tried this one.

Vegetarian Restaurant White Lotus Flower
White Lotus Flower And this one is on Khun Bu Lom Road, near the Swedish Pizza & Baking House.
I ate at this one with another vegetarian friend and the staff were very nice and the food was delicious.

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