Happy new year! For three days I am soaking wet, soot on my face, soaked with flour… Laotians (and tourists) with water spray guns run marauding through the streets, others prefer to take buckets and throw water loads down from pickup trucks. Constantly invited for a beer, dancing to Asian pop…. The backdrop is a beautiful little town whose side alleys make you feel more like you’re in a village. Traditional wooden houses and a few colonial buildings in large gardens, plus lots of temples. Everything is small and tranquil and nicely situated on the Mekong.
Nearby, in a small patch of primeval forest, there is a pretty waterfall that falls over its own sinter terraces (a delight for all geologists) – with really nice pools to take a bath.