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Luang Prabang Alms Ceremony

Monks Alms Ceremony in Luang Prabang © amanderson2
Monks Alms Ceremony in Luang Prabang © amanderson2

One of the main attractions in Luang Prabang is the morning Alms Ceremony. Male Laotians from across the country come to Luang Prabang to study Buddhism for at least a year at some point in their life. As such, the city is teeming with men and boys dressed in their saffron-coloured robes.

Every morning before sunrise, the monks proceed through the village along the main street, collecting alms to consume during the day ahead. This ancient and ritualised ceremony is a sight to behold and a great photo opportunity.

Tourists are able to buy rice and foods to give to the monks. Be sure to buy fresh food as there have been scams in the past where market vendors sell old or stale leftovers to naïve tourists. The ceremony is a serious and holy event. Onlookers should be respectful at all times, particularly if taking pictures.

It's considered extremely rude to come into physical contact with a monk, more so for women than men. The procession is a solemn and silent affair, sometimes embarrassingly ruined by ignorant or pushy tourists.

Date: Sunrise daily