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Published: November 1st 2009
One of the best things the French left behind (for backpackers anyway) was the 10,000kip baguette. 80c in other words for a full baguette. The choice of filling is simple and revolves around chicken or bacon and a bit of simple salad! They fry the bread first before filling it, just to make it extra tasty. Luang Prabang has more baguette roll stands than it needs. This does not take away from the place and this town is an excellent place to introduce yourself to the Laos way of life.
We got a really nice room with TV and nice big red wood floors for around €3. You cant beat that. Tim, Sarah and Marc from our boat journey stayed there as well and we all headed out for something to eat that evening. After a quick walk through the market we realised it wasn’t handicrafts we were looking for and returned to the street selling the food. The first stall we came to was jam packed, full of tourists and locals. Curious as to what was going down so well we joined the queue. Then we found out it was vegetarian only. Bit of a problem for me seen
that I had the scent of blood on my nose. Everyone else was up for it so I thought why not. We loaded our plates for the measly some of 5000kip (around 40c) and found a table to sit at. The lady was keen to push Beer Lao on us, but I was more interested in filling my empty stomach. They did have chicken on a stick, but I was turned off by the 12,000kip asking price. It was soon I realised that it was only €1. The currency here can sometimes through you off buying something. Taking 700,000kip from a machine you all of a sudden think your loaded and soon realise it is only worth €60. The vegetarian food turned out to be the some of the best we have had. It was a lot of mixed noodles, pastas and potatoes. We talked to some locals who said they eat from the same lady five nights a week. As we were eating I bumped into Martin, the Scottish guy we met in Pai. It would have been rude not to, so we ended up going for a few drinks to one of Luang Prabang’s funky bars. Martin had
met two English girls called Kelly and Abbey so there was a good group of us in the bar. Last drinks are at 10:30pm but some one told us that the bowling club stays open until 3am. A quick tuk tuk and soon we were bowling. It was good fun there but the drinks were a little pricey. The place was full of people, just of the slow boat, and nearly everyone knew someone in each group.
Next day we saw a few sights but retreated to our room as the heat was a bit unbearable. We did venture out that evening when it got cooler and walked the streets of Luang Prabang. There is a strong French influence in their architecture and one could be forgiven for thinking they were in a sleepy French town. Wine bars and fine restaurants lined the streets with the odd travel agent thrown in. You could kick back and spend a few days here quite easily. We did return to the vegetarian stand again but this time I bought the chicken on a stick off the lady next to her. The chicken was barbequed and very juicy. The salad still as good
as the night before. I wish we spent longer in Luang Prabang but we had a burning desire to get to Vang Vieng where we could go tubing. This involves floating down a river and getting pulled into bars along the way. Not exactly a cultural experience, but from what we have heard, from everyman and his dog, it is definitely an exciting experience.
In a bit. DH
Song of the blog: Kenny Rogers - Gambler
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