16 Dec
Location
Home
Days adrift.  Click here to see our best and worst experiences so far.
3065
Number of flights.  Click here to go to the itinerary page.
35
Bus, train and taxi rides.  Click here to see all posts relating to transport. (56 posts)
185
Miles walked.  Click here to see all posts relating to walking and trekking. (43 posts)
581
Countries visited.  Click here to see what we think of them. (14 posts)
15
Number of species spotted.  Click here to go to our wildlife page.
1157
Photos taken.  Click here to go to the photo gallery. (94 posts)
13288
Rainy days.  Click here to find posts relating to the weather. (49 posts)
63
Number of times scammed.  Click here to read all about it!  (2 posts)
1
Otters spotted.  Click here to go to our website about otters: amblonyx.com
45
 
...two travellers in search of the world's wildlife

25 November 2018

Market and Wat

Market veggies

Market veggies

21 November 2018

Things in the market in Luang Prabang that were alive:

  • Some of the fish, though not the giant catfish
  • Small brown furry rodents, plush and almost spherical
  • Snails with long turret shells, escaping from their pot
  • Little songbirds in bamboo cages no bigger than a fist
  • A snake, with a little plastic bag over its head
  • Fat warty toads, hopping vaguely
  • Lots of little round black beetles in a bucket

Catfish

Catfish

Everything else was, thankfully, already dead. Monitor lizards, chicken feet, giant catfish, naked molerats, etc, etc. Lots of delicious looking veggies and stuff too, but this was definitely the most “eek” market I’ve ever wandered around!

We spent a lot of the rest of the day exploring various Wats. Luang Prabang has a lot of them; it’s the spiritual heart of the Lao people and was the capital city for a long time. Generally speaking the temples are less blingy and perfect than the Thai buddhist temples. On the other hand, they aren’t nearly as grungy and encrusted with soot and dripping wax as the temples of Tibet. They’re somewhere in between. Which feels a lot like the town itself: not as fully civilised as Thailand, but catering well enough to tourists that it certainly doesn’t feel overwhelming or off the beaten track. The Lao people seem nice too.

Typical LP wat

Typical LP wat

Random aside: the country is called Laos and the “s” is pronounced. The people or anything relating to the country are “Lao”. But of course the unified country of Laos was created by the French, who naturally didn’t pronounce the “s” which is why many people in the western world, if asked to guess how to pronounce Laos, generally go for “laow”.

In the evening we went to a little storytelling theatre where a local chap entertained us for an hour with folktales of the Lao. I liked the one about a local queen who kept sending Monkey off to find an unspecified type of mountain mushroom for her from way off in Sri Lanka, until after his third basket of mushrooms was rejected as the wrong type he came back with the whole mountaintop, dumped it at the edge of town and said “there, find your own mushrooms!” (the type of mushroom the queen wanted were called “monkey ears” and she was concerned about offending Monkey by asking directly).

Roast pork as promised

Roast pork as promised

Afterwards we happened upon a local restaurant, well away from the main drag, and enjoyed some really delicious (and cheap!) Lao dishes. The slow-roasted pork had run out, so we had Lab instead; a spicy and lime-scented salad with soft pieces of cold pork and plenty of mint. UPDATE: we went back the next night and the pork was available, just as the owner had promised. This is the best place to eat in Luang Prabang. Just walk a block north-east from the storytelling theatre, it’s two doors down from Ancient Luang Prabang Hotel and is apparently called “Good People Good Food Good Price” but I couldn’t see an English sign anywhere.
Storytelling

Storytelling


Leave a Reply