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Published: February 26th 2008
Dried fish, fermented fish, fish sticks, fish sauce, fish eggs, fish everything
We spent our last day in Viang Veng at a huge lake. It was an artificial lake, created by flooding huge areas of farmland, of course displacing thousands of people. Electricity is Laos' biggest export -- there is a big dam at one end. The tops of some of the tallest trees are still sticking out of the lake. We had a guide who was big and fat, with long ears, curved out at the lobes -- like Budha. We visited the fish market and bought fish which we grilled on one of the islands that dot the lake. We also visited a small village and the people were really poor and depressed looking. They should take that off the itinerary. Actually, even though the lake was pretty, it was also pretty boring. We took a mini bus to beautiful Luang Prabang. I really like it here. We have a very nice hotel next to the Mekong in French colonial style -- the town conjures up memories of Indo China (that is if I had any memories of Indo China). It is a bit run down but very charming. The back streets have a lot of typical village life and it
is fun to wander around -- so much to see. We got up early to see the Monks collecting alms -- my guide book said 7 am but it seemed to me a bit too late and it was. As soon as we got near to the temple this woman carrying baskets of rice jumped on Micha and before he knew what was happening he found himself kneeling before this monk offering him rice and being bossed around by this woman who told him to kneel in different places. I was outside killing myself laughing. I have been giggling about it all day. To add insult to injury the monk told him that they don't like this food and that anyway they have already eaten and he shouldn't buy anything from this woman. So glad it was Micha -- this could provide years of ammunition in future arguments. The food is really good here -- this is the most typically Laotian town in Laos and the food is mostly Loation too -- I don't always like spicy food but this is very, very tasty. Micha has been eating a lot of papaya salad -- too hot for me. We have
tickets for Hanoi on Thursday afternoon. Wish we could stay more. Today we went to a beautiful waterfall. Tomorrow we are going on a boat to some caves. I have to finish now, they are closing. Will write more tomorrow and post some more photos.
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