Waterfalls and water fights.
After a month of travelling, we intended to see Kuang Si Falls and then use the remainder of our time in Laos for rest and recovery. Shortly after flying in, however, we were told to throw rest and recovery out the window, as we had arrived just before Songkran, the celebration of the Laos New Year and one of the biggest events on their calendar.
The day before we got into the biggest water fight of our lives, we hired scooters and rode over dirt roads to Kuang Si Falls. The falls looked like something described out of myth, with golden light poking through the jungle and illuminating the cascading waters and aqua pools.
Nothing could have prepared me for the throng that paved the streets for the great battle of our time, the Songkran water festival. While the centre of the street was a merciless warzone, surpluses of water guns and sustenance, in the form of fruits and sandwiches, were sold on the sidelines for next to nothing. We quickly formed alliances with the local children who had fifty-five gallon drums and kiddie swimming pools constantly filled by hoses running from their parents’ shopfronts. To innocent bystanders entering the range of the water guns, no mercy was shown. Many tourists fell to the bombardment, having their luggage and clothes drenched in seconds. Open car windows and motorcyclists were popular targets. We spent the festival eating, drinking, drenching passers-by, and living in the moment.
Our experience in Laos will remain one of the most memorable of this trip, without a doubt. Who needs rest anyway?
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Written by Chad Gerber, Edited by Nick Petrou