Sunday, January 12, 2014

Luang Prabang, Laos

We flew into Laos today in a nifty Laos Air plane, gasping with delight at what looked to be a little Shangri-La nestled between green, razor-sharp mountain peaks. Indeed this is a totally captivating small town. It's a trekking center on the Mekong River, and people come here for the relaxed lifestyle, the elephant camps, river rafting, climbing, and the famous Night Market which stretches through the entire town every night from sundown til about 10 pm. We checked into our rustic hotel and took a tuk tuk into town for lunch. We could not resist the street food despite warnings to be careful and we happily ate several lettuce wraps filled with some nutty, spicy veggie combination. Yum! We also had a kind of Pho noodle soup and a smoothie made of bananas, mango and ginger and -uh oh - ice and water friom a plastic bucket. Yikes. Anyway it was delicious and we got lucky. No Rama's Revenge for us!

In the afternoon we visited yet another amazing World Heritage site, a stunning temple complex with a completely different architectural flavor. It is an active monastery as well as a huge tourist site.

On the way in we were taken into a small home where people were making rice cakes, first steaming the rice in a basket over an open wood fire. They then make them into round cakes and drying them in the sun. Last of all they deep fry them (I know, right!!). Delicious!

Inside the temple complex we admired the beautiful mosaic walls, black and gold painted murals, and many-headed dragons.

Finally we got to do a little shopping. Daniella and I left the group for the evening to meet our French friends, Marilene and Nicola who are vacationing here. We walked the length if the Night Market and back again, then had a lovely dinner at the 3 Nagas restaurant.

One last adventure to top off the day. We hired a tuk tuk to get back to our hotel, which is a bit outside the city. He plunged off into the dark night and we soon realized that we were going the wrong way - in fact going way out into the countryside along the river. We got scared. Nobody knew where we were and we had only the name if our hotel. We protested, he turned around and took us to the wrong hotel with a similar name. We protested some more. He asked for directions (!) and at about 10 pm we got safely back to our room. Phew!

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1 comment:

SusanSV said...

Loving your posts! We are re-living our trip through you. Luang Prabang was our favorite place! Keep having fun and hi to all. XO