Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Life is Brutal in Luang Prabang

Eating, walking, massages...when will the madness stop?  Yesterday, New Year's Eve, was another tough vacation day.  More leisurely strolling around.  More good food.  More friendly people.  But really, that woman actually expected me to get up and move after an hour foot massage so that she could massage my head and shoulders.  Without assistance?  What am I, an Olympic athlete?  Seriously, between the quiet music, perfect temperature and great massage I was barely able to move.  Luckily, she was patient.  Here are some more photos of Luang Prabang.

I woke late, dawdled around and then enjoyed breakfast on the patio at my hotel with a view of the river.  Best French bread ever.  The mango (not shown) was also perfect,

Now, this would be a taste of home.  I may try this for lunch today.

The main tourist part of  LP is a small peninsula with the Nam Khan river on one side and the Mekong on the other.  Both sides are covered with restaurants, hotels and guest houses.  In the center of each of these tables is a small barbeque.  Buy food on sticks, cook it yourself.  I want one of these in my house.

This restaurant cooks your food for you.  And offers cooking classes, as do many of the restaurants. 

The restaurants are on the river side of the street.  Houses, hotels, etc. are on the other side.  Even though it is high season, there's not much traffic and it's clean and quiet.

The chairs next to me where I got my foot massage.  It is not easy having to test all these massage places but I'm willing to do.  So far I've found the prices are very similar and the services almost identical.

Ok, no more pagoda jokes.  One of the advantages of having UNESCO World Heritage status is having resources and the responsibility to maintain historic buildings, like this beautiful wat. 

People farm on the banks of the river.  It's a steep hike to get from house to crops.

Or boat.

The confluence of the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers.

Sidewalks.  Clean streets, where people drive on the proper side of the road and not on sidewalks.  Mandalay - are you paying attention??

Creative bamboo Christmas tree.

Buddha, in one of the most ornate and beautiful wats I've seen.

Lunch at Croissant d' Or - a liver pate croissant with lots of veggies.  Along with a frappucino, it was about $4.

Nutella and banana crepe - $1.25 and worth every calorie.  That's why I'm walking so much!

Dinner was at a small road-side barbecue place next to the NamKhan Riverside Hotel, where I'm staying.  I chose sticks of mushrooms, squid, green pepper and chicken.  I wanted the cockles but they belonged to the owner. 

You pick your sticks, they cook them.  Eat in or take away.  True fast food that's delicious and healthy (depending on which you choose).

I'm going back tonight for more of the veggies - two kinds of mushrooms, spring onions, peppes and eggplant.

Open air kitchen, on the river.  It's a family operation and they live downstairs from their restaurant.  Two little boys help with the work.  The older boy (about 10) does food prep, putting stuff on sticks.  His little brother used a small pump to blow up the balloons.  I've seen them there working when I walk by after breakfast and still there working when I stop for dinner.  I'm anti child labor but all for kids doing their part in the family. 

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