Mandarin Oriental lunch…Bangkok–

MMM!  It’s good to be back in the big city of Bangkok where we can do big city lunch at the Mandarin Oriental…ah-roy!

The Oriental Hotel was built right here on the banks of the Chao Praya River a little over 100 years ago…this was one of the first luxury hotels in Southeast Asia.

Over the years the Oriental has been bought, refurbished and expanded into what is now called the Mandarin Oriental…still lovely, just a lot bigger and luxurious than it used to be.

A great time is had by lunching on the huge deck here overlooking the river.  The service is top-notch, the food is extremely tasty, the drink is plentiful, and the vibes are warm, humid and happenin’.

For our lunch we sip some champagne to get our juices flowing…then we dive in for various satays with spicy dipping sauces, fresh spring rolls, roasted pork salad, crab fried rice topped with a magical fried egg, and a special Mandarin Oriental ice-cream parfait for dessert. . .all is washed down with a nicely chilled bottle of Sancerre–most wonderful!

The food is perfectly cooked in this joint…again, the service is totally top-notch…and we could not feel better after this delightful meal.  We hope to lunch at the Mandarin Oriental again and again because it ROCKS!

It’s lovely out there.

The friendly skies of Laos–

FYI, Lao Airlines ROCKS!

The planes feel relatively brand new…lovely color-scheme with leaf-green seats, red seat belts, and all of the flight attendants wear a fresh frangipani in their hair–veddy niiiiiice.

We have no problem flying Bangkok-Vientiane…Vientiane-Luang Prabang…and Luang Prabang-Bangkok…no problem at all.  On-time takeoffs and landings…baggage intact and accounted for…and nice little rides from various hotels to various airports. . .life is smooth and easy in Laos at the moment–this place is open for business and ready to welcome you.

We give big thumbs-up for Lao Airlines. . .check ’em out, they will get you where you’re goin’ in and around Laos.

It’s lovely out there.

Market time…Luang Prabang–

KAPOWY!  Hit the market in any town in the developing world, and you will find nothing but good stuff…let’s check the market here in Luang Prabang, Laos and see if it measures up.

IT DOES…IT DOES MEASURE UP!

We walk though early in the morning and see fish galore just dragged in from the Mekong and the Nam Khan…we see a wide variety of fruits and veggies just delivered from the countryside…we see herbs and spices and dried snacks like spicy fish, spicy beef, spicy river leaves, etc. and so on.

The markets are usually near temples or wats…this one is very close to a large wat with lots of monks wandering about…we make a donation up there then grab a sandwich from ladies next to a lively noodle stand…folks are sipping, slurping, and gobbling as the day begins…and we are honored by the opportunity to be here chillin’ with them all. . .mmm, aaaaahh!

Come to Luang Prabang…observe monks accepting alms all over town every morning…grab a coffee…head to the market…wander around here and there and everywhere…soak it all in–it’s good for your digestion and well-being.

It’s lovely out there.

Lush lunch…Luang Prabang–

BOOM!  It’s lunch time, and we don’t wanna mess around…we wanna gobble some tasty grub in a lush setting…so we head on over to a joint called Manda de Laos in the heart of Luang Prabang…let’s check it out.

Manda de Laos is a restaurant/hotel built on and around an ancient pond that has been here in the center of town for hundreds of years…at least this is what we are told…located just a block away from the Vietnamese embassy.

Whatever the case, the setting is magical, lush and soothing…we have no problem sitting here for a couple of hours nibbling snacks and sipping wine.

For our lunch we do various salads full of crab and pork and fish…we do fish cooked in a banana leaf…we do fried rice topped with a fried egg…and we end with housemade ice creams.  Everything is cooked wonderfully though the spiciness is toned down for the non-local crowd here making the flavors a tad bland…no worries, we wash the whole thing down with a tasty sauvignon blanc, and we are good-to-go. . .mmmm, aaaaaahh!

We say that this is a must-visit place when hanging out in Luang Prabang primarily because of the setting.  Pop on in for some lunch or dinner–have a reservation cuz they get busy here–and maybe even book a room for a night or three…swim in the pool, float on the pond, soak up the tranquillo vibes, and enjoy the passage of time Lao-style.

To see more amazing images from around planet Earth simply click on a location of your choice in the category menu on the ‘About’ page of this blog. . .dive on in. . .you can go just about anywhere that you like right here, right now.

It’s lovely out there.

Lattes on the Mekong–

BAM!  We are up early to observe the alms-giving ceremony here in Luang Prabang, Laos…Buddhist monks are walking the streets all over town receiving food items from locals and tourists alike.  We watch from a distance…silent…calm…chill.

Once this is over we seek out coffee…BOOM…we find this joint on the road that runs along the Mekong River…we pop in…we order lattes…they are delicious…invigorating…ommmmmmm!

Please visit Luang Prabang some time before you return to stardust…check out the monks before sunrise…sip a latte or three on the banks of the mighty Mekong…it’s magic.

You can thank me later.

It’s lovely out there.

Superb Lao cuisine–

Here we are puttin’ on a major lunchtime feed at a joint called Tamarind in Luang Prabang, Laos…everything here is tasty and wonderful–let’s check it out.

Gordon Ramsey filmed his Luang Prabang episode here with the chef/owner Joy Ngeuamboupha…if this is good enough for Gordon, then it is definitely good enough for us.

During our lunch we gobble the restaurant’s signature stuffed lemon grass, housemade sausages with delicious dipping sauces, a whole grilled fish with more wonderful dipping sauce, a pork laab dish, and some tasty greens…everything is cooked perfectly and full of flavor.  We wash the whole meal down with a nice bottle of sauvignon blanc, and we are satisfied as can be. . .mmmm, aaaahh!

This restaurant is located on the banks of the Nam Khan River right next to the Apsara Hotel…we sit out on the patio, the breezes are light and warm, the vibe is chill and welcoming, and the grub is totally worthy of our attention.  If we lived in this town I could see us eating lunch here 3 or 4 times a week…reasonable prices–great flavors–good value.

Please consider lunching here the next time you find yourself in Luang Prabang…be sure to make a reservation–this place is busy every day…you will love it–I gar-ron-taaaaayy!

To see more magical images from around planet Earth simply click on a location of your choice in the category menu on the ‘About’ page of this blog. . .do it. . .you deserve a trip somewhere nice.

It’s lovely out there.

Let’s get coffee…Luang Prabang–

Located on Sisavangvong Road right in the heart of the historic district of Luang Prabang is this sweet little coffee shop called Cafe de Laos.  Pop on in here any time during the day for delicious java and snacks…it’s delightful.

There appears to be an inn attached to this shop and a hotel right next door so you can book a room, chill the heck out, and know that you have free-flowing delicious coffee available to you all day long.

It is chill in here…this town is chill…this country is chill. . .perfect antidote for all the madness going on elsewhere.

Fascinating to remember that Laos has the distinction of being the most-bombed country EVER…over 260 million pieces of artillery were dropped on this country during the American/Vietnam War…they are still cleaning up the remnants of this madness. . .and now this place is thriving and totally open for business.

Laos also has the distinction of having the youngest population in Southeast Asia with a median age of right around 21.  This place is young…this place is hungry…and this place is ready to welcome you for all of the good that can come when we all simply figure out a way to get along.

I send you soothingly hopeful vibes from a sweet coffee shop in Luang Prabang…feel them…they are good for your well-being.

It’s lovely out there.