Lao New Year 2024 – Murfreesboro TN – Sunday Photos

Wat Lao Buddharam


Murfreesboro, TN |  Sunday May 26, 2024

Event Coverage by Boon Vong. Yes I took all these photos except 1. 🙂 Photo credits/link back please if you use my images!


RLCD Royal Lao Classical Dancers • Kon Lao Loon Mai • LAS Laotian American Society (Atlanta) • Murfreesboro Lao Soccer Club • Numchai Lao Association • Lao Tun Sa Mai • Samukkhi Hukphaeng Maeying • Lao Association of TN • Goom Kon Mak Moun

I was only in like 2 photos on Sunday, so thanks to the young lady for taking a snap with my camera! Thanks to everyone else for posing, smiling and representing the Lao culture! I also shot a lot of video on my walk around the temple, maybe there will be a Youtube post in the future.


We left a bit early due to the looming crazy weather, and because we were hungry.  Found out that almost all Lao/Thai places around Murfreesboro is closed on Memorial Day Sunday/Lao New Year.  But it worked out because back in Chattanooga on the GA/TN border is a Lao restaurant called “Thai Esan”!!  (Isan is a region in Thailand that has more ethnically Lao people than even Laos itself, and the food, culture and language is practically the same)  Anyways, here are my thoughts on finishing a fun day with a taste test of good ol Lao cuisine.

Thai Esan Restaurant – 4330 Ringgold Rd East Ridge TN 37412

Had no idea there was this cool tunnel in Chattanooga on the back way to the restaurant.  It’s in an area that has fast food, many Mexican restaurants, and we passed by an Asian grocery store.  This is all good information to know for say the fall time when we visit Rock City.

Just read up on wikipedia about Isan or Issan and find out about the area that was pretty much part of Laos back in the colonial days.

These sauces and spices at the table are a good sign already.

I could get used to these prices, seeing as how Popeye’s can somehow balloon up to $34 for 3 people, and Vietnamese places default to 18% gratuity in Atlanta now. :/

Chicken Satay

Pad Kapow with a fried egg on top

Okay so this is how they make Lad Nar.  It has a ton of gravy, and it’s almost like a soup.  Odd because normally we have it on a flat plate, but I honestly agree with the decision.  You’ll inevitably end up packing it to go, and the extra gravy keeps the noodles great for dinner part 2.

I ordered Larp Gai (Chicken).  I though it was pretty great!  It was the easy kind that’s quick to whip up in a fast pace restaurant setting, so it’s a bit different from the home style kind that would have the chicken skin and more rice powder and sauces.  This and jasmine rice would make for a great pitstop before heading to Nashville (or Atlanta).

I’m afraid the Papaya Salad might not be their specialty.  The shredded papaya was like the older kind you’d find in the fridge and decide to make a meal.  Now I’m just happy that you can even get Lao food in the mountains of Chattanooga, but I could see harsher critics than me (as in very picky Lao moms and aunties), throwing a fit.

It was a great stop in the halfway point between Murfreesboro and Gwinnett county. There were a lot of non Lao people eating here as well. 

And so that’s a nice bow on what is Lao New Year “season” for 2024.  Thanks for reading, following, and getting enjoyment out of my photos.


Posted in Lao Culture, Lao Food, Lao Thai Khmer New Year, Photos and tagged , , .