Photo by Toby Adamson/age fotostock
Morning AlmsLaotians are loyal Buddhists—many young boys become monks even for short periods of their lives. Defined by simplicity, prayer, and purity, a monk’s day in Luang Prabang begins with a walk at dawn through the streets of the city from the monastery to the temple. Watching the monks, dressed in saffron robes, shuffle in single file along the roads is itself a worthy activity, but visitors can also take an active part in the daily ritual by offering tak bat (alms). It’s becoming a popular pursuit for tourists, with many hotels offering to arrange the experience, and mornings on Sakkaline Road can start to feel like a mosh pit, with visitors jostling for the perfect photo angle. Still, alms-giving can be a rewarding endeavor, especially when performed on a quiet side road, away from the center of town.