I go to a vista point in the heat of Luang Prabang
Near the center of town is Mount Phousi. For only a few Kip, you can enter the pathway and wind your way up through a dilapidated stone stairway.
We happened to make it up the stairs just in time for sunset, and while it was crowded up at the top, the timing was definitely worth some elbow-bumping.
The views were spectacular.
We watched as lights below turned on one by one, and as motorbikes and tuk tuks wove in between the colorful buildings.
The Mekong, the jungle, the mountains, and the tapered tops of temples all glittered in the gradual moonlight.
Also, this was a great opportunity to make way too many “mount pussy” jokes.
We ended up making friends with two backpackers while on top of the mountain. One from Egypt and one who was a British English teacher in Vietnam. We ended up having dinner with them, and I tried a dish that I got to knock off my bucket list: Water Buffalo!
Granted, Asia does not use much of its arable land for cattle raising, so anytime you see “beef” on a menu, it is most likely just water buffalo.
I got a ground-buffalo stir fry with green vegetables. Water Buffalo is usually unappealingly tough (Tuffalo), but my meal was pleasant. Laotian spices and herbs never failed to be scrumptous.