Wednesday, November 26, 2008

271206 Luang Prabang night market reprise

Part one here.

The reason why the staff at the Post Office along Chao Fa Ngum Road have become experts at packing & wrapping up all sorts of odd-sized & fragile items for tourists to ship home:


Somewhere near the Ancient Luang Prabang Hotel towards the Phou Si Hotel/Post Office end of the night market, an alley lined with food stalls branches off from Sisavangvong Road towards Wat Phonexay. The food is mainly sold 'to go', with limited seating towards the Wat Phonexay end. The famous-among-backpackers pile-one-plate for 5000kip (pay more for spring rolls) vegetarian buffet cart (which included penne with cheese tonight...reflection of clientele?) is usually found at the Sisavangvong Road end. Apparently the entire night food market setup can be shifted to a nearby parallel alley depending on the whims of local police/officials.

Photo from Oct 2008 trip

To avoid confusion, non-Lao/Thai/English terms in the next paragraph are italicised...

The food stall offerings include (& are far from limited to) sticky rice (both steamed & grilled), fried rice, stir-fried noodles (from broad flat kway teow to intermediate Hokkien mee thickness to finer bee hoon) & all sorts of Lao meat & vegetable dishes/curries to go with them (economy rice to the Singaporeans & Malaysians), laab, grilled fish & chicken & other species of a less 'domesticated' origin, spiral Luang Prabang sausages (sai krok?), khai phaen, spring rolls, what Filipinos call balut (skip the cooking step & it'll hatch into a duckling in no time; at bottom left corner in above photo), doughnuts, short you char kueh (pathongko to the Thais), what looks like ham ji peng (didn't sample to see if it really is), bao, khanom krok, & all sorts of pandan & coconut-based desserts, including nam waan lod chong - lod chong to Thais, & green chendol jelly in coconut milk, or simply chendol missing a hell lot of the usual ingredients (what is chendol without gula melaka??) to Singaporeans & Malaysians.

Postcards of Lao Akha for YK, Jamu & Ban Apa people:


If only the cat had known how popular they'd be in Ban Apa, it'd have bought many more. It had enough only for Agong's wife, Ata, Atee, Tum's mother & Jamu...buseh's wife & others were disappointed. Agong & wife thought that the girl's skirt (middle postcard) was Hmong-influenced, & were puzzled why the women wore such long tops & pants instead of leggings around their calves (right postcard). Forgot to ask Agong's wife what she thought of the headdress - she complains that her Lomi Akha one with the silver spheres are too heavy & a headache to wear. Interesting how there can be so many variations between the traditional dress of different subgroups, yet one can still recognise all as distinctively Akha.

end of day 11 (271206):
noodle soup/pho/feu/khaaw soi eaten to date = 08 bowls

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