"If you can wake up early: Morning Alms" Top 5 Page for this destination Luang Prabang Things to Do Tip by xuessium

Luang Prabang Things to Do: 461 reviews and 1,015 photos

by xuessium

If you think you can beat the rooster, you'll have a fair chance of seeing this Buddhist practice.

Every morning starting at about 5.30am and ending at about 6.30am, monks from the various temples will start their rounds of morning alms. In Buddhism, alms are given by lay people to monks to express virtue, accumulate merit and gain blessings as well as ensuring monastic continuity. Generosity is nurtured when one sentient being is able to express compassion towards other sentient beings. In Buddhism, giving of alms is the beginning of one's journey to Nirvana or enlightenment.

You can partake in this practice as well. There is no religious connotations. Line up quietly and wait your turn. Please understand the meaning behind this traditional practice. PLEASE DO NOT GIVE CASH! Monks are detached from worldly desires and money is of no use to them. Donate vegetarian food or rice. (There are peddlars selling these if you have not prepared them beforehand) Please go away learning something and not treat this experience akin to visiting a theme park.

Fewer local people give alms these days as thoughtless and inconsiderate tourists chose to flash their bulb right in their face at a time when they are practicing their faith. Would you like a tourist to flash a bulb right in your face next time when you're in temple, mosque or church? I even saw tourists flashing bulbs right in the face of the monks! Please folks, be considerate! I can't imagine tourists flashing a bulb in the face of a Priest while he is giving a sermon. If an Asian would to do that, we'll be quickly demonised "barbaric", "inconsiderate", "rude" and "uncivilised". I throw back all these accusations at the tourists committing the same crime.

Photography tip: Bring a portable tripod and bring some good zoom lens. Set your ASA to a high number, 400 or 800 and use slightly longer exposures. You can still take great pictures amidst the dark settings of the morning without being invasive.

Directions: Around the temples.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Dec 8, 2007
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