I love to visit local markets whenever I visit a foreign country. The markets can tell you so much about the culture – the food they eat, their priorities and the way people socialize. On my recent holiday in Luang Prabang, I signed up for a cooking class. The teacher, who runs a wonderful restaurant called Tamarind in Luang Prabang, took us to the local market so we could appreciate the ingredients used in Lao cooking. Banana flowers, fennel and buffalo skin are some of the key ingredients in their cooking. The open-air kitchen was a hut next to a river, surrounded by trees and plants, a perfect setting ?for the cooking class. After several hours of cooking, we finally sat down to enjoy the fruit of our labor?in the lush garden.?