Published: March 6th 2010March 3rd 2010
This morning we got up to have our breakfast with Kerry before she went to work. It is a big day at COPE today with an ANZ banking executive flying in from Hanoi to hand over a cheque. All the staff had to be there for the photo op!!!
Despite some hassles with the entire telephone network being congested this morning Kerry managed to get onto her driver, Om, so that he could collect us and our luggage for the trip to the airport. He arrived right on time at 10.15am and had us at the airport in about 15 minutes. It takes no time at all too get around here - just 15 minutes from out in the suburbs all the way over to the airport on the other side of town!!
We arrived in Luang Prabang about 1.00pm which was right on schedule. The air quality here is dreadful and deteriorating rapidly. It is the season where they burn all the undergrowth in preparation to plant the next crop of mountain rice when the rainy season starts. Definitely not the best time to visit this particular area, but we shall just make the most of it!!
With the day pretty much written off with travelling we decided to go and have a massage at the place that Kerry reckoned was OK - although of two massage places located side by side she wasn’t 100% sure which one it was that she liked best. Anyway we had our massages at Aroma Spa. Our massages were OK, but very, very oily. I think we have been spoiled by the service at Champa Spa in Vientiane??!!
After our massage we ventured down to the riverside. We bought drinks at one of the restaurants by the Mekong River thinking that we would have another go at watching the sun set over the Mekong River. Hmmn, not much chance with the smoke filled atmosphere up here in Luang Prabang!!
We ate dinner tonight at Tamarind Restaurant which is highly recommended by the Lonely Planet Guide. Since it is situated only a few metres along the street from the delightful Lotus Villa where we are staying, we decided to check it out. We had a very interesting Lao meal which commenced with a tasting plate for starters. We had four different dips/pastes with sticky rice and dipping ‘crackers’ made from
Mekong weed. They were sort of like nori sheets, but hard and brittle rather than soft for rolling around sushi. We followed this up with fish that had been steamed in a banana leaf and a very garlicky stir-fried bean dish. All good except for the dip made with water buffalo jerky. Not made keen on that one!!