Discover Alms Giving Ceremony - Luang Prabang
When it comes to traveling, very rarely do people think of giving back to the destination they have visited. Although purchasing local goods and trying out their delectable dishes does give the locals a means of income and a sense of income, there is a huge difference when travelers share something sacred wholeheartedly. Only a few places give its guest an opportunity to see and experience charity, but in the streets of Luang Prabang, Buddhist devotees strengthen their spirits in the manner of almsgiving.
First time visitors might confuse this almsgiving as a ceremony, but to the locals, it is just part of waking up every day. Every morning, the streets of Luang Prabang are lined up with people, either kneeling or sitting down, ready to give alms to the hundreds of Buddhist monks living in the nearby temples. Once the roads are covered in a sea of yellow and orange robes, the monks visit each devotee whilst carrying a thin metal bowl to place the offering. The faithful carefully portion out their gifts one by one, until the last monk has received his share of gluttonous rice, biscuits, and fruits or vegetables.
This hour is sacred to those who follow the path of Buddha, and is not necessarily the perfect place for tourists to go out and about. When encountering this ceremony, Trip Guru would like to remind fellow travelers to watch at a distance. Participation is encouraged and if you wish to join the devotees, you need to buy the alms in any of the markets without haggling with the price. Do not put on garments that reveal the shoulders, torso and legs. Turn off all mobile devices and no flash photography. Interacting with the monks is highly frowned upon and you need to be silent during the whole almsgiving.
The time of almsgiving is held in the 35 temples of the city, but one of the best venues to see it is at Wat Mai Temple. To get here, you can take a tuk-tuk, which are located outside the airport, and head straight towards the temple. It might cost your around 50,000 LAK but bring extra cash just to be sure.