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Luang Prabang, Laos and Bangkok, Thailand Travelogue

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Apr 18th, 2009, 06:56 PM
  #1
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Luang Prabang, Laos and Bangkok, Thailand Travelogue

Hi All --

Visited Luang Prabang and was stranded in Bangkok over Christmas, 2008. Trip report, with photos and links (also includes some information on my intended destination, Ubud Bali) at:

www.travelmusings.net

Thank you to those who provided advice on these destinations.
mitzyli is offline  
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Apr 18th, 2009, 07:17 PM
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Asians and Europenas in general prefer much harder matrasses than Americans, Mitzi. It is much better for your back to have a firm base than those spongey matrasses you get in the US.
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Apr 20th, 2009, 01:01 PM
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Enjoyed reading about your trials and tribulations - although I'm sorry you didn't find more to occupy yourself while in Bangkok. What an important lesson - we never thought to check that we have enough pages in our passport. We went to see the Erawin Shrine, but didn't see a museum there. Is it at the same location? What a disappointment that we missed that. Guess it will be on our to do list next time. I was so looking forward to hearing about Bali...oh well...

Waiting for what's next to come!
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Apr 20th, 2009, 05:55 PM
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This is a great report. Very detailed with a stream of consciousness narrative. You bring the reader along as a passenger. Thanks,

I totally agree. LP is a treasure that should be ASAP. It will disappear under the crush of tourism. However, we loved the Tamarind Cafe. Our food was delicious. They must have known you didn't have enough blank pages in your passport. Your bad food was gastronomic foreshadowing.

We've been to Bangkok six times. Instead of seeking the abnormal, like you, we pick out some minor aspect and make a day of it. For example, we spent a long ahile wandering the amulet market, north of the Grand palace. Another day was spent wandering on Ko Kred.

Again, super report.
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Apr 20th, 2009, 07:04 PM
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Nice report and we were in LP at almost the same time as well! Laotian food and Thai food(especially Northern Thai food) are almost the same and I agree with you that the food at the Tamarind was not what I consider as gourmet or good BUT it does suit the Western palate being quite mild and bland. All the other customers were Westerners and they all enjoyed it and we talk with the waitress in Thai and she said it's just a watered down version of the local food with a nice presentation.
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Apr 21st, 2009, 02:51 AM
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Great report, you turned a frustrating stuff up into a lot of enjoyment for this reader. Glad that somebody else enjoyed Cabbages and Condoms.
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Apr 21st, 2009, 09:06 AM
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I absolutely love your writing style! I bookmarked your blog in my favorites so I can read your other trip reports sometime soon.

I'm off to count my remaining passport pages!
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Apr 28th, 2009, 04:50 AM
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Ah so sad, shallow musings indeed. Your report on Luang Prabang highlights exactly what is happening to this beautiful town; tourists flitting through who want to eat Pringles, stay at the Novotel, drink Diet coke and think chicken with cashews is real Lao food!
And we found Tamarind thoroughly deserved its reputation: a great place to eat and learn about Lao food. It aims its menus at foreigners, hence no Lao locals eat there I guess. But perhaps you were looking for "authentic" sweet and sour chicken or fried rice?
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Apr 28th, 2009, 05:28 PM
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gloriag, the reason no Laos eat there is twofold. Tamarind, as hanuman wrote, does not serve authentic Lao food by a long way. I find the food there very ordinary, but then again I am married to a Laos so eat real Lao food every night. Tamarind serves "watered down" food which I find quite tasteless and the preparation is also not authentic.

Secondly, the average Laos could not afford the prices.
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Apr 28th, 2009, 08:08 PM
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Ummmm, gloriag....

It's called shallowmusings because I'm making fun of myself 90% of the time.

Get it?
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Apr 30th, 2009, 05:00 AM
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But Vientianeboy, I think you might be in error there. We did the Tamarind cooking class, and the chef/owner is indeed Lao.(married to a Westerner). He explained that their aim is to give a lead in for tourists to Lao cuisine, who are often reluctant to brave the places patronized by only Lao folk. So the cooking class allows you to go hell for leather if you want real Lao. Incidentally I saw that you can be really brave and try their adventurous menu. We also loved Three Nagas which does something similar: allows you to try Lao cuisine with Western presentation. A good compromise for lots of people I thought, but loads more expensive. The places along the Mekong are cheaper and could be regarded as Lao, but we thought their food was standard boring, really.
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May 1st, 2009, 06:45 PM
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Hi Gloriag,
The owner himself explains that the cuisine is "dampened down."
Not many westerners can eat padaek for example which is a staple in very many Lao dishes. It took me about a year to get used to it. However it doesn't really matter, if you enjoyed Tamarind, well and good. Just be aware it is not really authentic.
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May 1st, 2009, 07:13 PM
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meow, gloria. retract those claws. a tad harsh there, dontcha think? did you even read her trip report? ...or just skim through it?
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May 3rd, 2009, 04:40 AM
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Vientane Boy: On my trip report you commented that it was a "pity that you did not eat at L'Elephant, the best restaurant in LP"

Is that more authentic than Tamarind? It is certainly more expensive.
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May 3rd, 2009, 07:38 AM
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Good point, eks. I liked L'Elephant a lot, but I never thought of it as serving authentic Lao food!
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May 3rd, 2009, 08:36 AM
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isn't it amazing that some of those who post bitchy supercilious comments are brand new posters!!!
I love fodors but its getting more like TA with Trolls everyday, i really hope they find a way to stop this.. (can they not check IP addreses so trouble makers can't keep posting under new names?)
sorry rant over!
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May 3rd, 2009, 09:04 AM
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Totally. There's a recent spate of undesirables (a lot of whom seem to comment on the same topics--coincidence?)

Hopefully Katie and the other fearless editors are on top of it. It's starting to feel like TT in here and that's a really a shame.
filmwill is online now  
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May 3rd, 2009, 09:17 AM
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Film,
That's exactly what i mean, if you read some of the TA ones (KW for example) they seem to have a bevy of obsequious followers... guess they like talking to themselves eh?
anyway i am going to ignore post going forward from those blatantly stirring it (however hard that may be!!)

Smeagol
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May 3rd, 2009, 06:41 PM
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L'Elephant serves primarilly french food. They have a Lao menu degustation, but if you want to try genuine Lao food I would suggest Tamnak Lao in LP and Kua Lao in Vientiane.
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