Luang Prabang – Tak Bat and Mount Phou si

3/27 – This morning we rose at 5am to view the daily ritual of Tak Bat – giving alms to the monks at daybreak.  Every day, the townspeople line the streets near the 33 temples where monks reside, and prepare to feed them sticky rice, crackers and little packets of food.    

 

The townspeople remove their shoes, and sit so their heads are  lower than the monks’ heads, out of respect.  They dip the food with their hand, and do not make eye contact with the monks, who are meditating as they walk.  The ritual is performed in silence. This is the only food the monks will eat today. Monks eat morning and noon, and then fast until the next morning. image

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When the youngest monk at the end of the line has been fed, the ritual is over until tomorrow.IMG_8424

 

As we were near another wat (temple), we peeked in. Prayer candles are lit in the shrines, and young monks are tending the grounds. A monk is having his photo taken – very unusual.

We spend the day relaxing in town, eating good food and taking in the sights.

In the late afternoon, we walked to Mount Phou si, the highest point in Luang Prabang. There are two set of steps, on opposite sides of the hill. We go up the steps facing the main street – up, up, and up some more!image

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You may purchase little birds in reed cages, and set them free at the top of the hill. This will give you merit for your next life. I don’t know what happens to the people who imprisoned the birds in the first place…image

There is a wat at the top of the hill, and a view of both the Mekong River and the Nam Khan River. imageimage

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The steps down the back of the hill were rich with Buddha statues.

A peaceful ending to our day.image

2 thoughts on “Luang Prabang – Tak Bat and Mount Phou si

    1. All Lao men are expected to serve some time as monks, but only some choose to remain monks. The monastery educates in areas where there are no schools. When the Communists took over in the 70s, they did not try to eradicate the religion here, as it is so important to the lives of the people. No nuns here – women have to be reborn as men before they can achieve Nirvana!

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