Monday, January 7, 2008

Luang Prabang

After our wonderful time in Luang Nam Tha, we convinced Paula that the best way to get to the northeast of Laos was to head directly south to Luang Prabang with us. Luckily for the three of us, all the seats on the local bus were sold out. Luckily, the aisle seating wasn't. Luckily, there were plenty of bags of rice in the aisle for us to sit on, and luckily the 9 hour bus ride was filled with hair-pin turns that toppled our seats/ sacks of rice over. Luckily, we have a sense of humor.

After scoring a cheap guesthouse due to Paula's remarkable Lao language charms, we set out for a walk around the night market. The previous days of activities and the early morning bus ride left us a little zombie-like, but we were able to stitch together a good meal out of small bags of street food.

After some more wondering, we ran into Patrick and Greg, a couple of Quebequois that were on our bus and decided to crash their table. Upon hearing of Kristi's allergy to beer, Greg launched into a scathing attack on the way that restaurants in southeast Asia take care of their wine. It seems that leaving wine in the front window in 35 degree Celcius temperatures turns wine into vinegar. Which is bad. But luckily, Greg gave us a good 10 part recipe for a salad dressing if we ever do get a bottle of Asian-styled French wine. The rest of the night was spent trading stories and talking films, novels, and politics.

The following day, Kristi and I walked the small town of Luang Prabang, which has been designated a UNESCO world heritage site. The city is full of strange hybrid architecture which combines Khmer, Lao, Burmese, and French colonial influences.

After meeting up with Greg and Paula, we continued our rambling conversation until the Laos government designated business closing hour of 11:30 pm. Of note, there is a not-so-secret secret bowling alley in the city that does stay open till 4 am, but our next morning's 6 am departure discouraged us. Maybe next time.

So as we bid goodbye to Paula and Greg, we confirmed that our return trip across the U.S. and Canada may now end in Greg's small but happenin' hometown in Quebec. And Greg, if you're reading this, we expect to be greeted in the manner of an Italian grandmother--with fine wine, 14 cheeses, and a cabin by the lake! Oh la la, we could have spent a few more days here--damn our schedule.


1 comment:

Jean-Christophe said...

Huho... leaving tomorrow from Nam Tha to Prabang... I hope we are lucky, or luckily we will forge a good sens of humour ;-)