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Let it rain!

The water festival in Laos and specifically Luang Prabang is not to be missed. The shy and cautious Laotian people shift personalities and turn into outgoing afraid-of-nothing killers. 

Let’s see how I got to this knowledge. Towards the end of my longest one-day motorbike trip trip ever (268 km) a big thunderstorm developed above my head. It looked really nasty and I just wanted to get ‘home’ to Luang Prabang. It all started then: kids coming out of nowhere and throwing full buckets of water at me. The last thing I needed, as I was racing my motorbike desperately trying to remain ahead of the lightening strikes. Despite having put on my rain gear I avoided those kids like the plague, as I wasn’t really looking forward to the additional shower. 

Over the next couple of days I understood how wrong I had been. For Laotians take great pride in showering you as it washes last years sins away and there are many things you can do when somebody runs at you with a bucket with ice-cube-filled water, but escaping it altogether isn’t one of them. 

One of the most amazing things is the police in Laos. You have to know that their uniforms rival the Italians for trying to impress. And this still is Laos: a communist country with very limited freedom nad policemen command respect from tourists and locals alike. Needless to say: the Laos policemen were soaked first,

The amazing thing is that it all happens in good spirit. People genuily pay attention to who and how they soak. At the same time: shouting NO!-NO!-NO! doesn’t guarantee a dry passage. Neither does holding a camera in front of you (you get soaked from behind). Special event and a unique occasion to see the spirit of a country change completely.

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