Si received his education and learned English as a monk. His parents, who were unable to read and write, wanted their son to be educated and sent Si to a temple far from their countryside home to study. Si was determined to use that opportunity and learned to read and write, taking extra English classes as a monk, and then starting work directly after high school. He now works in operations for a travel company in Luang Prabang. He is a friendly young man who warmly welcomes you into the house that he built for his family. Si is a member of the Tai Lue tribe, a people of the lowlands and one of three tribes in Luang Prabang. He lives in a modest, rural home along with his mother, Tailu, who was orphaned during the war, and his wife, Nee, who is from the Sang Hai village. Learn about food, culture and everyday Laotian living as you share a meal with this welcoming and relaxed family in their home. At the entrance to the home is Si's mother's loom, upon which she weaves traditional cloth that she sells in the local market. After a tour of their home, sit down together to enjoy a traditional home-cooked Laotian meal prepared by Nee. If you book a cooking experience, learn to cook traditional Laotian dishes with Nee. Note that Nee speaks limited English so Si will help to translate. Learn to cook a simple everyday meal that includes dishes such as peeng pa (charcoal-grilled fish) or jao nam poo (green chili sauce with crab), bamboo shoot soup (a rainy-season favorite cooked with pumpkin and green leafy vegetables), and khua mak fak (stir-fried pumpkin with pork) eaten with sticky rice. You will chop, stir and cook on a wood fire as you learn to cook three dishes from scratch. Some dishes may also be prepared using electric heat. The cooking class portion of the experience will last 2.5 hours. Please note that you will be cooking outdoors and the weather may be hot, so dress appopriately in warm-weather clothing. After cooking, enjoy the Laotian meal you helped prepare at the family's indoor or outdoor dining table (weather dependent). There is also an optional market tour conducted by Nee which can be done individually or combined with a meal or cooking lesson; during the tour you will visit Phosy Market, Luang Prabang's largest fresh market, and discover local fruits and vegetables. Please note that this is a modest, rural experience which gives you a wonderful glimpse of rural Laotian everyday life with a warm and welcoming family.
Luang Prabang is the crown jewel of Laos and perhaps the best preserved traditional city in Southeast Asia. The ancient capital of the former Kingdom Lan Xang, it is nestled in the mountains at the confluence of the Mekong and Khan rivers, and is an enchanting and charming destination. The town is adorned with gilded temples on nearly every street corner and saffron robed monks strolling through the quiet city center, giving it a unique charm of bygone days and rich cultural heritage.
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