Monday, October 10, 2011

Days in Northern Laos

Russ and Rosalba arrived in Vientiane after a brief look around the town we took them out for dinner.  A bit of torrential rain came down and we were treated to localised flooding and having to wade home through ankle deep water. 

The next day we headed north to Luang Namtha – 1 hour by plane, 24 hours if driving.  Bordering on Burma and just 50km from the Chinese border.  Russ was keen to hire a motorbike and ride to China, but sadly none of the rest of us wanted to participate in that 'adventure' so it did not happen :-)

A few months ago we found the cook book:

 Food from Northern Laos - The Boat Landing Cookbook 

This is an excellent book not only full of Lao recipe but with superb photos, descriptions of ingredients and about the way of life in the region. 

Both of us had been there with work projects but this was an excellent opportunity to revisit the region, to do some more touristy exploring and to stay at The Boat Landing

The Boat landing is an eco-lodge located 6km out of Luang Namtha
The Boat Lodge - situated just above the river
We wandered down to the river banks where large parts of the local community were watching teams practice for the upcoming boat races. 

Next Thursday all of Laos (except Luang Prabang who do it slightly earlier) marks the end of Buddhist Lent with boat races.

So we watched the teams coming down the river to the sound of pacing whistles and the cheers of encouragement of the locals.

The lodge itself was quiet and peaceful. 

Except.... in the mornings when the roosters crowing would start about 4:00am, then the early morning boat practices and their whistles between 5:30 and 6:30am. 

And the calves that were grazing in the field by the boat landing after a boat ride from somewhere about a day’s journey downstream. 
Oh, we also had a rat in the ceiling  of our bungalow that got busy during the night to gnaw through the cane roof.  Thankfully the gnawing job remained a work in progress that was not completed during our stay. 

Otherwise the place was so peaceful and calm, the butterflies giant sized and the people friendly.  And we ate our way through most of the book, so we have some future inspiration

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