shopping limitations

If you’ve read about our shopping options here, you’ll know that there are a lot of things not available here in Northern Laos.  So, what do we do about it?  Well, we go without a lot of things, but there are a few items that we stock up on when we go to Thailand.  The first couple months we were here, we had to leave every 4 weeks to renew our visa.  You can imagine the long lists we made knowing we’d be going over the border in a few weeks.

2014-03-01IMG_4367Now that we have our 1 year visas, we don’t have to leave, but went last month and will again in a couple of months to have another prenatal checkup.


So, are you curious what things we make sure to buy when in Thailand?2014-03-01DSC_4780

These are the essentials that we restock each time:

1. baking soda – we use it to wash our hair and brush our teeth

2. grass fed butter – a healthy fat for cooking our morning eggs

3. apple cider vinegar – for multiple uses including hair care and upset tummies

4. coconut oil – another healthy fat for cooking, making nutritious treats like homemade chocolate, or using as lotion (101 uses for coconut oil)


We rent a moped and enjoy the freedom of zipping around town running errands.  Yes, there is room for me on the back!2014-03-01IMG_4404We’ve also bought a couple of bikes which are our only mode of transportation over here.2014-03-01IMG_4410The bridge was not yet open on our first trip, so we brought the bike and all our other purchases and mail back on multiple tuk tuks, buses and a boat!   2014-03-01IMG_4413Now, the 4th Thai-Lao friendship bridge is open, so it’s getting a bit easier to move things across.  2014-03-01IMG_4674We already have a running list for our next trip in April.

It includes:

-new bike tires for my used Japanese bike that no one has parts for here

-a rake to clean up the yard

-and a backpack, as ours is falling apart

Of course we also pick up a few non-essentials like cheese, bacon and chocolate, which never quite last as long as we’d hope.

What kind of food items would you not want to live without?


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