Friday, June 6, 2014

Lovely Luang Prabang, part two: the markets! and the food!

For non-shoppers we sure did spend a lot of time at Luang Prabang's markets. (In all fairness there are three of them, daily, so you kind of have to go out of your way to avoid them.)

First up: the morning market, which technically runs until about 4pm. It stretches a few blocks near the river (close to all the guesthouses). This is where locals get produce and basic necessities.

our kingdom for a kitchen!!!

Next is "the stretch of food stalls where you go for cheap eats." Not sure about its technical name but this is located around the same area and comes to life after the morning market shuts down.

surprisingly tasty food found here

also snacks in every shape, size and flavor

we recommend the veggie chips
over the coconut crisps

And then there's the famous night market. This is where you find local handicrafts - everything from woven pillowcases to handmade jewelry to clothing to bamboo iPod speakers, plus those kitschy "same same but different" t-shirts. This market was huge - so we can't wait to see how it compares to the one in Chiang Mai.

photo from Google
(I can't find mine)

And of course we ate a lot of food.

Food notes:
  • meat on a stick! chicken, pork, quail, buffalo, fish... anything you desire, mostly found at "the stretch of food stalls where you go for cheap eats"

chicken, pork

buffalo (tasted like jerky)

  • delicious khoisan: spicy pork noodle soup
sooooooo good

  • lots of laap
laap laab larp

  • the hotpot buffet: pick your meat and veggies from the buffet, then throw it all on an upside down hub cap (not really, just looks like one) covering hot coals at your table... we never did this in Vietnam so we splurged on Kim's last night and it was totally worth it
we do recommend choosing a night
when it's not 105•F
to enjoy this food adventure though

the aftermath

  • tom chau: similar to tom yum, only with eggplant and mushrooms instead of meat (no photo available but it cured Patrick's sore throat one day)
  • Nazim's for Indian one night
this was the start of many Indian dinners - who knew?

  • fruit shakes: once again an everyday occurrence
coconut and mango were our faves

but there were plenty of options to choose from

  • beer also made a regular appearance
along with lau lau
(rice whisky - tastes like vodka
or weird sake)

  • there was also "pancake row" but that's where we got food poisoning our last day
so we shall not speak of it

but we will speak of these rice
tapioca-or-maybe-coconut aebleskivers
available nearby at the night market

  • and the Lao coffee is delicious
chocolatey smooth goodness

Lodging notes: we picked Philaysack Guesthouse somewhat randomly and ended up staying there all week. The location was good, the room was nice, and although the staff pretty much ignored you coming and going they were always responsive if you needed something.

cozy digs

plus a balcony

that we used one whole time
(terrible tourists!)

We got a little spoiled in Luang Prabang. As noted above, we also got a little food poisoning in Luang Prabang. But that's a story for another day...

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