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Dalama Adventures Tale of two corporate types ditching their jobs and traveling the world for 14 months... check out all photos, blogs & interesting tid bits at http://www.dalama.net

Paradise Found: Hamburger From a Cow... or was that Water Buffalo?

LAOS | Thursday, 14 June 2007 | Views [976]

After days of living in more remote areas of Laos, and living off sticky rice and fried rice with vegetables, we were craving some beef.  After a 4 hour ride in monsoon rains, the back of a tarp covered pick up truck, we enter a town of endless tourists and western food - Luang Prabang.  It was actually quite a shock, after coming off of 10 days living like cave-people and now entering modern-day civilization.  We hadn't seen any tourists since crossing the border and heading north, and then back down south via the Nam Ou River.  We were thrilled to get some protein into our systems.  After checking into our "big splurge" $10/night guest house, and scrubbing down under a warm shower and fresh micro-bar of soap, with a nice white towel, we headed into town with our friends Daiana and Sury for a well needed dinner.  Sury ordered up a steak, and the rest of us ordered hamburgers.  After seeing all the fat, well-fed cows and water buffalo along the way, we figured the burgers had to be good.  And served up with cheddar cheese and Dijon mustard none the less...  we had arrived in heaven.  Not only did restaurants here have good burgers and beer, but the dessert options were endless.  While we have expressly chosen to travel off the beaten path during our round the world journey, there are times that we really miss our comfort foods and need to get our fix.  This town also makes a mean espresso and cappuccino... so for a few days we'll stop off to refuel and recharge our bodies with some protein and caffeine.  

Luang Prabang is the La Jolla of Laos.  Expensive boutiques, textile, housewares, and jewelry shops line the streets of this beautifully maintained old French World Heritage town.  Cafes and fine restaurants abound, and the wealthy tourists have over run the streets, sitting in cafes, sipping rich Laos coffee, and eating baguettes.  Women walk down the street in strappy little tight tops and short skirts or shorts.  Are we still in conservative Laos?  What happened to covering from shoulder to shin?  The town is surrounded by rivers and outdoor restaurants line the banks of the rivers.  It feels a bit like Paris, or  La Jolla - just off the main town one can explore beautiful waterfalls, swimming holes, jungle with rehabilitation areas for bears and tigers, explore ancient caves and wander timelessly through Buddhist Wats, listening to changing monks.  We awoke early to participate in the "giving of alms", where the monks line up and move down the streets at 6:00 am, and local residents sit on their knees at a level lower than the parade of monks, dishing out rice and other offerings into the Monk's offering bowls.  Luang Prabang was a trip for us back into civilization.  After having lived and trekked through villages and forest, navigated rivers, and stayed in some pretty sketchy guest houses in transit over the past 10 days, we were more than happy to indulge in the tourist affair with Luang Prabang.

Tags: Food & eating

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