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Friday, August 24, 2012

Laos, A Mekong River Village

 

 

038Climbing up a steep set of dirt stairs, we are welcomed to our Mekong River Village stop with an almost unfriendly and loud:

“Cock-a-doodle-do”

 

 

 

The ear piercing sound is soon ignored by the smiling faces behind rows and rows of interestingly packaged alcohol. We are at one of the most advertised reason for making this stop. Here is where we can get a free sampling of Lao whiskey and a quick education on how it is made.

 

 

030Cobra In A Bottle

 

 

032However, a language barrier issue prevents me from learning about what I think is most intriguing, the bottling of some of the products.

 

 

 

 

After two different samplings, first a rice wine with 15% alcohol and then the whiskey with 50% alcohol, I decide I will save my throat and just stick with the rice wine. Conveniently available in a 3-4oz bottle, I promise the young smiling and cheerful salesgirl that I would return to buy one.

A stroll through one area of the village and I come across one of the joys and reasons I love traveling, meeting locals especially kids who seem happy without a care in the world. I remember those days as a kid when you just saw people as people, you were happy, life was fun and you knew nothing about the sometimes unpleasantries of humanity.

 

 

037Not surprising this village also has a Buddhist community with unique buildings, temples and various statues.

A brief pause and I watch some of the daily activities of the Buddhist monks.

 

 

On the grounds nearby, vendors sell different handcrafted items from the village. For me, it is amazing to see one lady demonstrating her skills on an old fashioned weaving machine. The finished products are fascinating.

 

 

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