Luang Prabang, Laos
07 April 2009
The sun had already set when I settled the bill at l’Elephant and walked up the darkening street away from the Mekong. This small town with French ambiance and Asian culture is calming, very calming compared to the wars.
The night was cool and quiet and there were no mosquitoes. No sounds of birds although I saw a few sparrows. During my last trip to Laos, I ate baked swallows along with beetle soup. People eat practically everything in Laos. Fresh bats can be bought in a local market, and live frogs whose legs have been broken. Without refrigeration, they keep the frogs alive so the meat will not spoil, and break their legs to prevent escape.
Just across the street from the restaurant l’Elephant, where I had duck that was as good as any I had tasted in China, is the entrance to the temple called Nong Sikhounmuang. They say the temple was founded about 280 years ago.
And so as I walked up the quiet street, there was a monk sitting in the only open window at the monks’ quarters of the temple, and there I stopped and carefully made this photo for you.