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2007.11.05

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bayi

Robyn

How different is Laos now compared to your 1994 impression? Do you have any updates?

Robyn

Bayi - we haven't been back since 1996! (But I think that will soon be remedied, once Air Asia starts flying to Vientiene route next month).
I suspect it's changed a lot, I know Luang Prabang certainly has now that it's on every travel magazine's 'hot' list. But from what I hear the relatively slow pace and friendly people (and great food) that we encountered 10+ years ago haven't. We are really looking forward to returning at some point.

Sticky

Robyn - Have you read this book?(http://stickyrice.typepad.com/my_weblog/2007/10/good-laos-food-.html#comments)
It'll be right up your alley. I loved it.

Robyn

Sticky - have had it on my shelf for a while, saving it for a vacation read. But we're not doing too much true vacation-ing lately ... so perhaps I'll pull it down and dig in. Thanks.

Mary-Anne

Laos has changed greatly since the mid 90's! After the Friendship Bridge opened allowing an easy flow of both tourists and Thai/Laos people to readily mingle plus many Vietnamese who landed in this country much has changed.

The once remembered sleepy town on the river is now a dusty busy industrial feel city.

Luang Prabang has been going through a transformation and rekindling of the French era with numerous old French Colonial building gleaming with refurbishment and new paint. Nonetheless this town still captures your heart with it's charm and hints of life of a previous century.

Even the tourist clogged night market has charm and if you are savy of Vietnamese and Chinese goods being touted as local handicrafts you can ferret out some truly amazing local handicrafts.

Luang Prabang is one of my favourite places to visit in the world-an unfortunately the same for many others. Now the charm must be shared with far too many gawkers-mainly backpackers looking for a party.

We're heading there as well as Siem Reap with our children and grandchildren this Dec. It will have been 20 years since our son has traveled these parts with us when he was 18. A fun time for him to expose his chicldren to amazing places.

We were just in Cambodia and Thailand in Dec 2007 and can sadly see the constant changes everywhere. I miss the quiet little towns of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai of 20 years past, and the lovely trekks to Hill Tribes in remote areas. Those treasured times can only be memories now.

Robyn

Mary-Anne, if you're still out there am curious to know how your son found Luang Prabang.

LalitaMangoTree

hello! I love your blog so much. Are the "lime leaves" in your recipe is the same thing as kifferlime leaves?

Robyn

Lalita -- yes, exactly. "Kaffir" is a sort of nasty Thai term for Indians, so these days writers are just calling them lime leaves or wild lime leaves.

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