Languid Laos - 2007

NIGHT MARKET Another potentially interesting experience seemed more deflating than fun as well: our visit to the night market near town center. It was crowded with many stalls and lots of people including more tourist than we had seen in Bhutan. In general, the market appeared to exist for the natives themselves since t ere was little in the way of specifically tourist items on sale. Instead, there were things of practice. l use to the folks themselves arrayed in the stalls. There was also a plentiful amount of food being prepared and sold to one another. We could scarcely comprehend that all that food would be sold in one night. However, we had to admit that much of it looked delicious, especially the glazed and roasted chickens. But we were too afraid to buy food from the streets so we just feasted with our eyes. The people around us did not appear to be having much fun since smiles were as scarce as the tourist trinkets! Kemphet prevailed over our concern about eating street food and talked us into sampling a favorite snack of Laotians. It is a round cracker made of cassava and sweet potatoes. These ingredients are cooked and pounded together and then flattened like a taco and placed on bamboo frames to dry. They are then ready to consume and we were happily surprised at how delicious these little morsels were. They are rather salty-sweet and the texture is very pleasing. More to the point, none of us suffered any ill effects from our munching—except some extra calories.

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