LUANG PRABANG, LAOS

 Starting the stroll to town center under darkness, we witnessed the early morning chores:  locals stoking the flames for street-side food stalls, chopping and sorting the meats and arranging eggs and veggies around giant steaming pots.  The blue morning light faded as two smiley boys joined along the path asking questions we didn't understand. Crossing a most precarious bridge while calculating the weight of myself and my pack versus the average-sized Laotian with each creaky step. I fell in love with this sweet town, walking the streets lined with French Colonial architecture, feasting at the market and scootering between the temples and along the Nam Khan and Mekong rivers.



Kuang Si Falls

A morning scooter ride to the falls through the Laotian hills and valleys, passing water buffaloes grazing roadside before arriving at the turquoise river. Each fall cascades and pools at different points, creating swimming holes in which to splash and play or to keep still for a mini-pedi performed by tiny fishes.


The Food

The street meat was abundant and large. Selecting your skewers piled high with cuts of meat:  sausages dripping in honey, half of a chicken, or an entire fish. Then grilled and seasoned to perfection for on-the-go dining. Afterwards, selecting from the table piled high with slabs of cakes and brownies or homemade ice cream. Mornings I would fill my empty belly with hot noodle soup, the flavorful liquid permeating the herbs and veggies thrown in with scoops of chili paste and a squeeze of lime atop. Fried dough bits on the side served to squeegee up the remnants or were smothered in sweetened milk and dunked in coffee. Hot pot buffet along the Mekong, grilling and boiling an unending supply of tasty treats, pausing only to top off the broth and add more glowing red embers below the dome. Luang Prabang, you shall see me again.


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