Sunset on the Mekong

3 Feb

We ended up meeting two Aussies who joined us for drinks. Everything shuts pretty early here so we went off to find a little bar or a shop open and go and sit by the river, but on our way we found an American guy who was drinking with some of his guesthouse’s staff.

What they were drinking was laolao…with a dead lizard in it.

Perhaps it was the Beerlao we had been drinking, but this seemed an excellent idea so we all had some. It didn’t taste too bad (laolao tastes really strong anyway) but the thought of it is still making me feel a bit ill. It also gave me a very bad head the next day!

This was unfortunate as the power went off at 8.30…so had a freezing cold shower with a crashing hangover. I was not in a good mood :) It also dawned on us (when the power had been off for a couple of hours) that if there was no electricity none of the ATMs would be working and we didn’t have much cash left. Luckily we had some dong on us still so we got that changed to kip and eventually found an ATM that was working. The electricity didn’t come back on until after 5 pm but everyone just got on with it and cooked on gas or fires and dug out birthday candles so we could still use the loo.

Whilst I slept in, Craig went fishing in the Mekong river which is a five minute walk from our guesthouse. Some local guys who lived by the side of the river

(this is him showing a picture of dogs with human teeth. He has no teeth himself)

and got talking to him – well, chatting away in their own language and pointing etc – and looked at all his kit. They hadn’t seen wire tracers before so he gave them a couple and they invited him to eat some breakfast with him. This included eel’s head so I’m quite glad in a way I wasn’t there! But he said the food was very nice and had all been caught by the locals.

We met up with Trille and Bror today, and a couple of Germans who we saw on our bus from Phonsavan. Trille and Bror are getting a seven-hour slow boat north which sounds amazing so we might do that next as although it is absolutely gorgeous here, it is very expensive compared to the rest of Laos.

After lunch, we both went back to go fishing with the same Lao guy earlier. He was busy catching shrimps with an ingenious invention made from old water bottles cut in half. The top half was put upside down into the bottom half, the bottom half had little holes in to drain the water out and then he put worms in through the hole where the lid would have gone. So the shrimps go in to eat the worm and then can’t get back out, and as he lifts it out of the river, the water drains away. Simples. Craig helped him find worms

and then went to help another man cut a huge log in half. He had had some help from another tourist but he got tired so walked away, so Craig decided to help him finish. He was sweating buckets and after about 15 minutes let someone else takeover…who sawed three times and then the log split in half, completely stealing Craig’s glory. He was gutted :)

As it was really nice weather all day, we decided to take a sunset cruise across the river

and ended up crossing a little bamboo bridge to a pretty restaurant with little huts with cushions and tables in them with lanterns. If I was a millionaire I’d definitely stay in Luang prabang longer!

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