Drinking LaoHai (Rice wine) in remote Khmu village
Drinking lao hai (rice wine) in a Khmu hill village in Nale District, Luang Namtha province. about 4 hours walking (uphill) from the river (Nam Tha).
I was accompanying a few friends, who were guides, and were doing a survey of the district, trying to find new trail suitable for developing as ecotourism trek. We slept the night in one village, and around noon the next day reached the next village. We asked to be taken to the house of the headman, but unfortunately he was not there, but out working in the fields, with many of the other villagers. the only ones in the village were a few men looking after babies, a few old people, and some children. nevertheless, we were invited into the headman's house, and offered some LaoLao (rice whiskey) , then some Lao Hai , rice wine, which is drunk at the same time by two peopel, until together they lowered the level of the crock by two cupfuls. this is then topped up with water, and the next two peopel get a turn. during this, one of my guides and one of the locals cooked us lunch in the house of the absent headman. This is very Lao, you get invited in a house, and take part of the cooking, even if the main peopel of the house are away.
The man on the l=eft is a local, staying home from the fields to care for his young child (on his back) the one on the left is a guide who came with us from the previous village.
above the fireplace, some bamboo or rattan baskets smoking. The aluminium pot next to the ceramic crock is the rice cooker, above which the sticky rice (staple) is steamed.