Gluttony, cont’d

cimg4522-320.jpgI would like to say that the majesty of the former residence of Lao Royalty inspired us to crave a more delicate cuisine but I would be lying. It was actually just a question of unbridled gluttony. But the residence was impressive, especially the Limoges china and bohemian crystal. And the antique sideboards in the dining room. (Can you see where this is leading?)

L’Elephant. This is the name of the restaurant at which we melted. They serve French food, impeccable with all the details and ceremony which we love. Marc won the toss so he got to order the duck, with a starter of French onion soup. However, I won in the end with the starter of greens with blue cheese dressing and pork fillet, sauteed wild mushrooms and *swoon* garlic mashed potatoes. Dreamy. Plus wine: exquisite. We went back there twice.

cimg4558-320.jpgAnd then there was the Laos restaurant owned by the same group called Three Nagas. With Doug and Amy, we treated ourselves to a traditional Laos feast with stewed water buffalo (for the record: chewy), various savoury soups, minced pork wrapped in lemon grass, and steamed fish stuffed with pork. The laminated article posted outside the restaurant said that this place offered a taste of Laos that is different from Vietnam, different from Thailand or Cambodia and they were right. We could taste Laos in the dishes, taste the unique flavours and the bold meats. Except what we couldn’t taste past the spiciness.

I could go on about the food, about the great espresso that the bakery up the street made, about the fantastic cheeseburger at the sports bar, but I won’t because it would be better to take note of the falls. All tourists who visit Luang Prabang are required to visit Kuang Sy waterfall, about one hour outside of town along one of the dustiest, bumpiest road in existence.

I don’t really know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t this.

It was like something out of a coffee table book of pictures describing what one can see in the jungle. Or like what I imagine the first Europeans, foraging through Indochina, found and then described in letters written home and in voluminous, romantic essays. Though I’m pretty sure that those foraging falang didn’t wear their bathing costumes under their clothes so as to take a dip in the frigid blue water.

It was frigid. It was breath-takingly icy, especially when you put your head under. But the wine that we brought with us up to the falls warmed us right up.cimg4598-320.jpg

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