Butchers are scary in South East Asia. A market meander in these parts must be like a horror film for vegetarians, though such an experience no doubt affirms that lifestyle choice for many. Hunks of slaughtered beast, bones, fat and tubs of blood are the main players in this scene, set in a market alley behind Wat Chum Khong, one of many exquisite temples in Luang Prabang.
When you sit in one of those posh or not-so-posh establishments in the main drag in Luang Prabang, you may wonder where the meat on your plate comes from? There is no Woolworths in Laos. There is no sanitised butcher shop, gleaming with glass and stainless steel surfaces, plastic gloved hands and rules for food handling on the wall.
Could it have come from on top of that grimey cardboard mat with the flies and the heat and the blood.
You bet it could!