Lunching Lao. Article on Laotian food.

By Mark Andrews

Vacations and Travel Magazine. April – June 2017

Laos offers itself on a plate for the adventurous traveller

A lone 40 watt bulb does its best to light the room, but most of those present are consigned to the shadows. Two village elders are chanting; the oldest, aged 75, takes the lead. He picks at pieces of cooked chicken, banana and rice and adds them to a plastic bag together with water and Lao Lao (whisky). Finally, the villagers tie pieces of white string around our wrists before we share some of the chicken, rice and soup.

I’m in Viengkeo a village about five kilometres from Hongsa in Sainyabuli Province, Laos for an elephant festival. Mr Samchit, our homestay host, has arranged this baasii ceremony as tomorrow we will be leaving for Luang Prabang. Lao people along with their Buddhist faith believe in spirits (khwan). Each person has 32 of them and it is important before embarking on a long journey to ensure none of them has wandered off.

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Mark Andrews has written about everything from Japanese houses to heli hikes on New Zealand glaciers, test drives of Chinese cars to bar and restaurant reviews. He currently specialises in travel articles and reviews of Chinese cars plus articles about the Chinese auto industry.

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