Monday, May 9, 2011

Wild Weather and the Changing Seasons

With an early start to the rainy season in Luang Prabang, we’re all reminded of the value of packing a good umbrella! This year’s April rainfall has been higher than average and caught some locals and tourists a little unawares. Greg has gratefully commented that “at least it’s not cold!” No chance of that as the rainy season in Laos coincides with the summer so often offers a welcome respite from the heat.
The best part of the season though, especially in Luang Prabang, is the influence of the rainfall on the water levels in the mighty Mekong and the Nam Khan Rivers. Lush greenery is abound and Laos shows off its tropical vegetation in all its splendour. It’s a truly beautiful sight to behold. Oh, and then there’s the lightning and thunder – gotta love a massive tropical thunderstorm, and if you’ve never had the joy of witnessing one, you’re in for a treat!
Also blessing us at this time of year is mushroom season where garden variety button mushrooms are the furtherest thing from the menu and all manner of weird, wonderful and delicious ones take their place! Vendors selling mushrooms of all shapes, colours and textures begin to dot the streetscape and soon the restaurants will have sandwich boards offering seasonal, local mushroom speciality dishes. Yum!
Take a look at these photos of a sudden torrential downpour that turned the stairs through Lao Lao Garden into a waterfall (happy to report the food was still good – and dry – and the drinks still cold!). The other piccie is from the balcony of the first floor rooms at the Cold River Guest House. the rain of course. Gorgeous!