Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Luang Prabang, Laos

Sabaidee from Laos. Luang Prabang is a fascinating little town. A collision between the Europeans who colonized the area and the local traditions reverberates today as we walk by bakeries with golden mountains of French pastries after eating sticky rice, dried buffalo meat, and chiles. Mekong catfish. Pain au chocolate. Lao lao (rice whiskey). Chateauneuf du Pape. Buffalo sausage. Rosti. Curry noodles. Venison au poivre.

We have explored the town the last day or so. The nightmarket features gorgeous textiles, piles of scarfs and blankets with prices one hundredth of their US counterparts. We explored temples, from caves to mountaintops to a footprint of Buddha.

Tomorrow we greet the new year by taking a boat up the Mekong to a forest monastery for a meditation lesson with a monk. Thursday we will explore a village where they make lao lao, followed by a visit to a cave with over 4,000 Buddha figures. Friday we attend a cooking school. Then the long journey back toward home.

We wish a happy and prosperous new year to one and all.

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