Mekong river weed with spicy buffalo skin chili spread

July 8th, 2010 | Filed under: General | Comments Off

Mekong river weed with spicy buffalo skin chili spread, originally uploaded by Hillary Hewins.

It’s a local delicacy. Actually this and other Lao food is really
good! Our favorite dishes are larb (finely chopped meat salad with
mint, watercress, lime, and chilis), Luang Prabang sausage (either
buffalo or pork– this stuff is SO good), and eggplant jeow (a dip you
eat with sticky rice).


The sun sets over the Mekong

July 8th, 2010 | Filed under: General | Comments Off


The sun sets over the Mekong, originally uploaded by Dan Hewins.

This is the view from a wat high up on a hill in Luang Prabang.


Hanging Out With Elephants

July 7th, 2010 | Filed under: General | 1 Comment »


Hanging Out With Elephants, originally uploaded by Dan Hewins.

A couple of days ago we spent the day at Patara Elephant Farm where we
got to be "mahouts" (elephant owners) for the day. Patara adopts
healthy elephants from owners who don’t wan them anymore and attempts
to breed them to maintain Thailand’s elephant population, which has
been cut in half over the last 40 years.

It was SO fun and amazing. We learned how to tell if an elephant is
happy and healthy, how to clean them, what and when they like to eat,
and all about the current issues facing the domestic Asian elephant
population in Thailand. We also learned about Thailand’s
reforestation plan and the process of reintroducing the elephant back
into the wild.

Hillary’s elephant was Nui. Nui came to Patara from the circus and
was very smart and understood a lot of commands compared to some of
the other elephants. Also, she was very happy and cute. At first we
were a little timid around the elephants but it didn’t take long to
get comfortable. We rode them (bareback style) to a waterfall for
lunch where they relaxed and played in the water.


Yes, it is a baby giant panda.

July 7th, 2010 | Filed under: General | Comments Off


Yes, it is a baby giant panda., originally uploaded by Dan Hewins.

The government of China presented two giant pandas to the queen of
Thailand in 2004 as "friendship ambassadors." The Thais plotted many
romantic evenings for the pandas and finally in 2009 they had a baby!
The whole town is panda obsesed– they have a cable channel that is
all panda all the time. They are extremely cute. We saw the pandas
in the morning when they were eating and playing.


We in Laos now!

July 6th, 2010 | Filed under: General | 1 Comment »

We in Laos now!, originally uploaded by Dan Hewins.

(we’ve got more Thailand posts coming though…)

Street Food

July 5th, 2010 | Filed under: General, Pictures | Comments Off

Street Food, originally uploaded by Hillary Hewins.

On Saturday we went to the street market and sampled some delectable
street food, including this yummy takoyaki made with octopus, shrimp,
or crab. 20 Baht (60 cents) gets you 7 or 8.


Three Views at Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

July 5th, 2010 | Filed under: General | Comments Off

Three Views at Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, originally uploaded by Hillary Hewins.

We watched the sunset at this wat overlooking the city of Chiang Mai. A small rain shower created the most stunning rainbow we’ve ever seen. It was huge and bright an became a double rainbow at one point. Amazing.


Monk Chat

July 5th, 2010 | Filed under: General | Comments Off

Monk Chat, originally uploaded by Hillary Hewins.

A couple of days ago we chatted with some monks at one of the larger
wats. Our monk was a novice monk, meaning that he only had 10 or so
rules to follow rather than the 100 plus rules that the expert monks
follow. He decided to become a monk when he was 14 and he is now 20
and in university (monk university at the temple). He is studying
English and hopes to become a teacher. He thinks the BP oil spill is
terrible, but likes the world cup.


Thai Cooking Class

July 3rd, 2010 | Filed under: General | 1 Comment »

Today we took a Thai Cooking Class. We each made 5 dishes: stir-fry, appetizer, soup, dessert, and curry. It was really great and we learned a lot about Thai ingredients. Almost everything we made today was some different combination of lemongrass, chilis, galangal (thai ginger), fish sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, lime, garlic, onion and whatever the main ingredient was (except dessert).

Hillary’s Stir fry was cashew chicken and it was delicious:

Hillary's Stir-Fry

Dan’s curry was Chiang Mai curry noodle (also known as Khao Soi) and it was also delicious:

Dan's Curry Noodle

Let’s have a Thai feast when we get back!


Fun with bad translations

July 3rd, 2010 | Filed under: General | Comments Off


Fun with bad translations, originally uploaded by Dan Hewins.

This was on a menu at the "German" restaurant in Chiang Mai. We sat
there because they had a big screen set up for the world cup matches.
We had Singha beer in German style mugs and also had a German beer-
Erdinger. Holland really did it good to Brazil, didn’t they?