With temperatures hitting a sweltering peak, it can get pretty steamy around Pi Mai (Lao New Year). Therefore, the joyous water-based frolicking that marks the celebration comes as a welcome way of cooling down. With locals and tourists alike taking to the streets armed with buckets of water and elaborate water pistols, there’s no point in attempting to stay dry during Pi Mai.
However, the carnival atmosphere more than compensates for any sogginess. The royal capital, Luang Prabang, is the ideal place to celebrate the festival. On the first day of the journey guests can watch as Buddha images are taken out of the temples to be cleansed with scented water by devotees and placed on special temporary altars within the temple compounds.
Another entrancing ritual that takes place around this time is The Baci, a tradition where escaped spirits are called back to the body. With other ceremonies enhancing Luang Prabang’s charismatic allure, it’s the perfect time to get acquainted with one of the region’s most beautiful cities.