I've read that in Thailand there are a lot of 7/11 shops where you can buy all kinds of milk. But what happens in Laos? Is it easy to find milk in Laos? (more concrete: UHT milk).


2 Answers 2


In 2023, milk is available at all the supermarkets and convenience stores in Vientiane. I've only seen one 7/11 here, Mini Big C is the main convenience chain these days.

There were one and two litre plastic bottles of regular and skim milk and one litre cartons of UHT milk.

All the milk seemed to have Thai labels, not Lao (though one of the companies is a Japanese company). This means it's all imported from Thailand. Vientiane is only 20km from the border so I don't know if the other corners of the country can get the fresh milk or only the UHT.

Milk section of Vientiane convenience store
Milk section of a Vientiane convenience store in 2013. Soy milk is in a separate section to the left not in this photo.

I'm not sure if milk is available at the generic/independent minimarts which are much more common than supermarkets or convenience stores here. And I'm not sure supermarkets or convenience stores exist outside Vientianetweak or the other larger cities. I assume the small minimarts will stock the same products in all towns and villages though.

Now one thing I have noticed is that soy milk is very common here. The soy milk is also produced across the border in Thailand and is available at all the previous kinds of places plus even the stalls and stands on the sides of the roads. Perhaps it's popular because it may enjoy a longer shelf life and be more suitable to being transported around the country in the hot humid conditions with bad roads in aging trucks. But of course I overlooked th fact that lactose intolerance is much higher in most of Asia than in the west and soy milk has no lactose. Compared to some soy milks it tastes very nice, comes in at least three varieties, including chocolate and an "energy" version:

Lao soy milk
A bottle of Thai ไวตามิ้ลค์ (Vitamilk) I drank in Vientiane.

  • 4
    The "Japanese" milk you're seeing is from Thai Meiji, the Thai subsidiary of Japanese dairy giant Meiji. Soy milk is popular throughout SE Asia because there's no tradition of adults drinking milk and because many locals are lactose-intolerant. The indeed very creamy and tasty soy milk you took a picture of is the Vitasoy brand, available in any well-stocked Asian grocery around the world. Sep 19, 2013 at 0:58
  • Funny I go to Asian supermarkets frequently in Australia and I've had long trips in Japan and Korea several times and I've just travelled up to Laos overland from Singapore and it's only here that I noticed Vitasoy/Vitamilk. I think it's a lot more prominent here than elsewhere in Asia. (Also I didn't mean to imply that the Meiji milk was imported all the way from Japan - it looks like it's imported from Thailand.) Sep 19, 2013 at 1:08

Judging by the cost of living charts for Laos, milk is not particularly expensive, indicating it's probably not hard to find and not rare, even if a lot of the locals are lactose-intolerant, it's readily available in supermarkets.

Evidence of this is found in a blog about this very topic where they indicate that certainly in Vientiane, milk is available in supermarkets, and there's no reason to indicate there should be a problem anywhere else.

As for UHT milk, it's certainly available in Vang Vieng, as evidenced by this blog & photo, so again, should be available elsewhere.

  • Well even here in Vientiane, the capital, there aren't really supermarkets. I have found two kinda supermarkets so far but they are certainly not ubiquitous, even compared to other developing countries I've been to. Sep 18, 2013 at 13:03

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