LUANG PRABANG, LAOS
5 - 6
Luang Prabang - The Monks Call to Alms
There was heavy mist over the town and the rolling hills surrounding it. It was cold, while I was walking towards Wat Xieng Thong, one of the most mystical temples of the several hundreds spread across the city. Some women were heading the same way with bags of sticky rice, portioned and packed in banana leafs. It was there daily contribution to the monks, collected during Tak Bat - the daily monks´ call to alms. Every day at dawn the saffron-clad monks leave their monasteries and pad barefoot through the streets, where the people put rice in their begging bowls, which are hanging around their necks. Its probably the only place, where the givers were searching for the beggars and line up on their knees on the floor. The scenery was very meditative, just the morning birds were singing and the mist was like a blanket of peace under which the city was covered. As the monks returned to Wat Xieng Thong and the other temples the city folks were either heading to the morning market or to open their small businesses. The sun was still fighting against the mist, but high atop the city the Phu Si stupa was already visible. There was another sunny day coming up in Northern Laos and the monks will hide themselves later under the Bhodi-trees to study and meditate.