Nam Ngum Dam, Thalat

Saturday we were able to travel outside the city. We went with three other MCCers to Nam Ngum Dam in Thalat district—about 100 km from Vientiane. The dam, first hydropower dam in Laos, was built 1968-1984 and subsequently formed the largest lake in Laos. It generates most of the electric power for Laos and creates enough to sell to Thailand also.

We first stopped at a roadside market to pick up a picnic lunch—grilled chicken, grilled fish, sticky rice, and papaya salad. Papaya salad is a spicy salad made from unripe shredded papaya and is extremely popular. Emily had also brought fruit—rambutan, bananas, and (ripe) papaya.

We rented a long narrow boat with driver. He slowly drove around a small part of the lake and stopped at two islands. At one island we climbed a steep “ladder” to see basketry displayed by hopeful sellers. At another island there was an unusual concrete structure with three levels. We climbed steep scary steps to the top to look out over the lake.

Most of the time we just enjoyed a quiet peaceful ride.

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