Monday, March 8, 2010

The Thailand and Laos Report. Episode 6: Luang Prabang

   All I know is that we want to go back to this enchanted town that's part French Colonial architecture, part gilded temples, and part absorbing food and textiles markets. Our guesthouse was on a street that, as dusk approached, became filled with red tents. Inside sat ladies selling the most beautiful hand-woven silk scarves and shawls. Some sold traditional Hmong earrings and neck-pieces. Others, parasols and lanterns. 
   We wandered narrow laneways lined with bougainvillea bushes, watched a working elephant trundle along the main street and got up before dawn to see the people of Luang Prabang give sticky rice to the Buddhist monks.
   The food here is similar to Thai cuisine in its freshness and use of herbs and chilies. Several times we ate river fish, whole, stuffed with lemongrass and herbs, and simply grilled. We made our way through dozens and dozens of tiny bananas that were as yellow inside as good egg yolks. And while a great deal of Beer Lao was consumed, we didn't have the courage to taste some of the "special" drinks for sale at the market.

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