#76 - wow, it just keeps getting better here!

Luang Prabang Travel Blog

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my guest house!

wow - what another amazing day!  :)  my day started with big brother mouse again.  :)  i got there at 9am, and i was so happy to see that kor was there again.  :)  crazy though, there were about 6 other students there as well & i was the only foreigner.  so, i did my best to talk to all of them, askign a question around the table, etc but it was definitely challenging.  thank god a few other folks arrived to help them practice their english.  but actually, after we had more foreigners there to help - even MORE kids came.  i swear there were at least 15 kids around the table - it was nuts.  i ended up chatting with 3 of them mostly - it was kor, koumpha, & somock.  english is such a tough language to learn, i was so impressed with all of them!  we spent a lot of time today on the differences in meaning & pronunciation of "through", "true", "though" and "thought".

selling my favorite little fruit thingies
  so difficult!!!  we actually also ended up talking about obama!!!!  i was so impressed with what they knew about the united states.  they knew he was young and that he was going to make good changes.  SOOOOO - those three (not tree, which is a tough one for them to pronounce as well) are now the most recent recipients of my Obama buttons!  they were so excited - it was very cute.  :) actually, i only had 2 buttons - so i promised kor i would get him another one later.  i have to say, this morning i made the mistake of not eating/not having coffee before going and man, by the end - i was dying!  it was definitely an exhausting session.

so, i went to riverside restaurant along the meekong river and had a delicious brunch.

kor when i gave him the obama button! i visited him at his work
  and guess who walked up?!?  Pete and Paul from the night before.  such energetic awesome guys.  defintiely a treat to see them again.  :)

i wandered around for a bit after that, mailed a package, did some things like that...and then remembered that i owed kor the obama button.  so, i decided to visit him at his work.  he told me he worked at The Big Tree restaurant along the Meekong.  so, i got my button & made my way down there.  it was so cute - (i know i've said that a lot about him...but he is just so cute, i wish i could just put him in my pocket and take him with me!!  :)) he was sitting there folding napkins for the restaurant.  he was so polite when i came by & we chatted for a bit.

the sun was out, so the monks were using umbrellas
  he was happy to get his button & he put it on.  as i said, just so cute!  :)

i decided to visit my new friends at mala travel again.  i hung out and chatted with san & vithoun for awhile.  vithoun introduced me to a knew fruit - i think it's called a marian plum (that's what it said when we looked it up in a lao/english dictionary), but i've never heard of that before.  anyway, they are oval in shape, the color of an apricot, but have the texture more like a plum.  the best is that you get them with this chili/sugar mixture that you dip them in.  YUM.

oh and i got a foot massgae. of course, right?  i mean seriously, they are about $4 or $5 - it would be wrong if i didn't get one!  :)

i had heard about this bar called utopia that i wanted to check out.

UTOPIA!
  so, i had an hour before i needed to go to tamarind for dinner (i'll explain in a minute) so i decided to check out utopia.  to get there, you wind through these narrow alleyways & kind of through a neighborhood, but when you arrive - it really is UTOPIA.  it is GORGEOUS.  so lush & green & it's a gorgeous garden-like setting right on the Nam river.  There are decks with chairs that you can lay on the ground & lay up against these cool cushions, or there are all different sorts of chairs & different seating options.  i sat on a chaise lounge and ordered a beerlao.  it was so amazing to relax there and check out the view!  i knew i had to go back there again (this is inserting some foreshadowing since i ended up going back there twice.
me at utopia
..stay tuned).

okay, so i had to leave to go to tamarind for dinner.  they have this community dinner thing once a week on friday nights.  thank you sara schor for recommending it to me!!  it was the COOLEST experience.  not only was the food DE-LISH, but the people were so cool & i ended up making some wonderful connections.  there were about 12 of us at the table & they served us traditional lao food.  these yummy appetizer dippy things that you dip sticky rice (YUM) into.  THEN, they brought out these spetacular looking fish.  they were wrapped in banana leaves & when you opened them it was covered in this lemongrass & kaffir lime seasoning.   WOW.  you were supposed to put the fish in a piece of lettuce & add some other veggies & the peanut sauce.

the crew at the community dinner at tamarind - steve, susan, brian & joan
  it was DIVINE!  then , for dessert we had a gorgeous fruit plate and some sweet sticky rice with tamarind sauce.  i think the whole meal cost about $10 as well.  just so crazy.

the other highlight of that meal, as i eluded to already, were the people.  i was lucky enough to sit next to steve and susan from new york (steve is new yorker through & through, lived in the bronx, etc. & susan was from south africa....they actually met when steve was doing a year of traveling in greece & turkey in between college & law school when he was on some amazing fellowship where he had to do anything except work or go to school ) and brian (from australia & just the most caring, thoughful, interetesd and "switched on" person).

susan, brian, steve & me
  i actually didn't talk to brian that much during dinner, but once the meal was over & we were all walking home, we decided to get a drink to continue our converstaion.  i of course suggested utopia!  it was so great to go back there again at night - it is just so cool looking!!  brian & i had a couple margaritas that just hit the spot & just such an awesome conversation.  i've just had some of the most amazing, deep conversations with people on this trip and it's so strange because the it's most likely that you will never see these people again!!  anyway, such a cool evening & i feel so lucky that i got to meet such an interesting group of people!  oh & back to steve & susan for a minute - i just LOVED listening to both of them talk.
appetizers at tamarind
...susan has this amazing joie de vivre & such a warm, engaging personality and steve is so interesting, intelligent and i loved that he just sounded like all of my friends & family in new york - something very comforting about that!  :)

Awesome, awesome, awesome day!

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my guest house!
my guest house!
selling my favorite little fruit t…
selling my favorite little fruit …
kor when i gave him the obama butt…
kor when i gave him the obama but…
the sun was out, so the monks were…
the sun was out, so the monks wer…
UTOPIA!
UTOPIA!
me at utopia
me at utopia
the crew at the community dinner a…
the crew at the community dinner …
susan, brian, steve & me
susan, brian, steve & me
appetizers at tamarind
appetizers at tamarind
more signs for big brother mouse
more signs for big brother mouse
the view out my window in luang pr…
the view out my window in luang p…
the bag i bought
the bag i bought
selling food on the side of the st…
selling food on the side of the s…
my guesthouse!   one of those room…
my guesthouse! one of those roo…
restauarnt on the mekong
restauarnt on the mekong
restaurant on the mekong
restaurant on the mekong
art gallery where i bought a paint…
art gallery where i bought a pain…
some of the artwork at the gallery
some of the artwork at the gallery
san, my friend at mala travel, wea…
san, my friend at mala travel, we…
san & another guy at mala travel
san & another guy at mala travel
walking down the main street
walking down the main street
walking around LP
walking around LP
khob chai means thank you!
khob chai means thank you!
hive restaurant
hive restaurant
UTOPIA!
UTOPIA!
such a gorgeous place!!!
such a gorgeous place!!!
more of utopia
more of utopia
BEERLAO
BEERLAO
steamed fish!!!  YUM!
steamed fish!!! YUM!
brian & me at utopia
brian & me at utopia
Luang Prabang
photo by: oxangu2