Monkeying Around the World

Lil Dave’s Adventures with Ivan and Jennifer

Garden massage

Garden massage

Ivan, Jennifer and I woke up early on January 14, 2009.  We got a sandwich and a banana pancake for the bus journey.  We boarded the mini-bus at 9:15 am.  We were headed to Luang Prabang from Vang Vieng.  The bus ride was very bumpy and the road kept winding up into a mountain.  It wasn’t a fun ride.  We arrived about 2:40 pm.  We walked around town looking for a place to stay.  We checked in at Thida Guesthouse.  The rooms were simple, but nice. 

We were hungry for dinner.  We saw a flyer about the Lao Lao Garden on a lamppost earlier.  We took a tuk-tuk to the Lao Lao Garden.  The restaurant is known for it’s BBQ.  We arrived and sat in the great garden which is located outside.  It’s a big area with plenty of tables.  There’s also a big fire where you can chill around and drink. 

Ivan and Jennifer ordered drinks.  I got a banana and honey juice.  The drinks tasted really good.  Ivan and Jennifer decided to get the big BBQ dish with chicken only.  Our server brought over this silver pan.  It was put over a bucket of hot coals in the center of the table.  The server showed us that we can cook the chicken in the middle raised section.  Then, he put chicken brother around the middle section.  He placed vegetables, an egg and clear noodles in the broth. 

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It was our turn to cook the chicken.  I brought two bananas so I could fry them up.  I placed them in the middle section. I decided to try some soup.  The soup with my fried bananas tasted great.  Ivan and Jennifer thought it was pretty good as well.  It wasn’t a huge portion for two people like the restaurant claims it’s farang (foreigner) sized.

We walked to the HIVE bar.  There’s a special going on for 2 for 1 drinks.  Ivan and Jennifer ordered a drink and a virgin banana daiquiri for me.  We took our drinks by the fire.  There was a big group of people there chatting. 

We stopped by The House bar.  It was also 2 for 1 drinks at this bar.  Ivan and Jennifer only had some of their drink.  We took a tuk-tuk back to the Guesthouse.

On January 15, 2009, we checked out of Thida Guesthouse.  We walked around to find accommodation.  We checked into the Villa Champa Hotel.  Everybody was hungry.  So, Ivan and Jen walked to Tamarind for lunch.  I went down the main street to grab two banana crepes.  I met them at the restaurant after they were cooked.  The bananas in my crepe weren’t sweet at all. 

Ivan and Jennifer ordered the Dipping Sampling plate.  It comes with sweet chili paste, tomato salsa, eggplant dip, coriander and garlic dip.  You can scoop up the dips with the vegetable chips.  It has some great flavors.  Then, they ordered make your own miang. 

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It’s green leaves with aubergine & rice pastes, noodles, lemongrass, nuts and coriander.  You place the ingredients into the leaves and eat it.  They enjoyed it.  Also, they ordered the chicken stuffed lemongrass with a side order of sticky rice. 

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Jennifer thought this was the best dish.  Ivan and Jennifer wanted something sweet.  They ordered purple sticky rice with mango, sesame and coconut.  I had to special order my sticky rice with bananas and coconut.  It was very tasty!  Ivan and Jennifer enjoyed their meal at Tamarind.   Tomorrow we’ll be taking a cooking class through Tamarind.  Jennifer was happy to know that she’d be cooking chicken stuffed lemongrass in the class

We walked along the town.  We wanted to find a nice massage place.  We signed up for the stone massage at Lotus du Lao herbal spa.  It’s a massage with hot stones.  It was very different.  The massage felt good.  Ivan thought his male masseuse was too rough.  After the massage, Ivan and Jennifer sat in a sauna. 

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They both looked really funny sitting in the blue sauna pod. 

We chilled awhile in the room.  Soon, it was time for dinner.  We walked to Luang Prabang Restaurant.  Ivan started off with a pumpkin soup.  He really enjoyed it!  I ordered a banana pizza.  Jennifer got a veggie one while Ivan got a garlic and red pepper pizza.  The pizza was okay.  We headed back to the hotel to get some rest.

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