Early Morning Alms Giving and Wet Market

Early Morning Alms Giving
and Wet Market

Anyone making it to Luang Prabang should permit an early morning wake-up call to bear witness
and be blessed by giving alms to monks. A ritual so engulfed with spirituality, grace and
devotion to Buddhism, nothing short of making it a Laos’ highlight.

WHY THIS TOUR?

Often compared with an outdoor museum, the isolated location of Laos’ most attractive destination has proudly been on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites since 1995. The town once was the capital of the mighty Lan Xang Kingdom from the 14th century until the capital was moved to Vientiane in the 16th century.

Still, visitors praise Luang Prabang for its laid-back atmosphere, its ongoing efforts to keep it a jewel in the central mountains and above all, the ‘capital’ of Buddhism with hundreds of monks and novices residing within the town borders.

The seat of Lao culture is blessed with monasteries, monuments and with its dramatic landscape, aligned with the Mekong River; an early morning rise to see the saffron-clad purveyors of Buddhism performing the Tak Bat is an once-in-a-lifetime experience.

TRAIL ITINERARY

Early Morning Alms Giving and Wet Market

05:00 - 07:30

If you want to catch the town’s most extraordinary sight, we advise you to book this experience dawn. Scores of saffron-robed monks file out of the monasteries and make their way barefoot through the streets, bearing gold-topped wooden alms bowls at the crack of dawn. Along the route, locals wait to present sticky rice and other food to the monks – thereby earning merit by performing this good deed. Theravada Buddhism dictates that women cannot stand higher than monks, so women kneel on bamboo mats to present food, while local men stand; as a mark of respect, women wear a traditional shawl, while men drape one shoulder with a white scarf.

Guided by a local, English-speaking guide, you will be able to partake in this spiritual moment as he/she will explain the story behind this and observing the utmost respect towards its residents and the monks themselves. A mystical ritual and an integral part of the Buddhist philosophy, visitors may earn merit, or ‘bun’, towards their next life, enhancing their chances of improving their existence next time around.

A long line of monks creates a swirl of orange, accentuated by the soft morning light; the scene is framed by russet monastery roofs, tall palm trees, and whitewashed colonial housing. Within an hour, the monks complete their rounds and melt back into the monasteries-and the streets become quite ordinary again. Although this ritual can be seen in numerous parts of South-East Asia, it’s particularly striking in Luang Prabang because of the density of temples and the concentration of monks.

After this ceremony, visit the morning wet market of Luang Prabang before returning to your hotel.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

×

INCLUSIONS

  • An early morning tour with a professional English-speaking guide. Other languages are on request and may be subject to supplementary charges
  • Transportation by air-conditioned vehicle with professional driver
  • All entrance fees for visits as mentioned in the description
  • All applicable taxes and service charges
  • Food for donations to the Luang Prabang monks

EXCLUSIONS

  • Personal expenses such as meals, drinks, tips and gratuities, shopping, portage fees and optional tours, unless otherwise stated
  • Hotel accommodation in the destination of commencement.
  • Compulsory Christmas, country-specific festival and/or New Year dinner at included hotels
  • Single supplement charges for single travelers, where applicable
  • Any airline tickets, visa fees, additional transportation cost from and to the general meeting point
  • Supplements for transfers for customers arriving or departing from any airport or resorts located outside the general pick-up and drop-off locations
  • Hotel expenses of a personal nature, should an overnight be included: this includes mini-bar consumption, laundry, room service, any telephone or other communication cost not mentioned in the program
  • Travel insurance coverage for customers (highly recommendable)

GOOD TO KNOW

  • This tour is operated on full private basis with English-speaking guide. Other languages are on request / subject to availability and supplementary charges may apply
  • Return transfers for this excursion apply only / are inclusive for customers staying in and inside Luang Prabang. Transfers outside these areas, including any accommodation outside this area such as Kuang Si, along the Ou and Nam Khan River, Nong Kiau and Luang Prabang International Airport are excluded. Supplements apply for customers who want to join this excursion outside one of these regions
  • To respect local customs and respecting the Tak Bat alms giving ceremony on this tour, it is customary for guests to take off their shoes before presenting the alms to the monks.
  • Please dress respectfully by wearing clothing that covers the knees and shoulders. It is of the greatest importance to follow the guide’s instructions during this event in paying respect to the local customs.
  • This includes approaching the monks, taking photographs and obeying the unwritten rules and regulations of this deeply-spiritual encounter.
  • We always will make efforts to confirm the exact pick-up time upon reservation. For any operational issues in which are not able to confirm the exact pick-up time in advance, we reserve the right to inform you the day before the departure of the tour.
  • Please note pickup and drop-off services may not be confirmed for customers staying at private residences, apartment complexes, or other non-registered tourism accommodations. Customers may be asked to meet at a nearby hotel for pick-up and drop off.
  • Certain scenes during this excursion may not be photographed for specific reasons. We kindly ask for your understanding by following local regulations.
  • Natural elements of any kind have a destructive effect on electronic equipment. It is the customer’s own responsibility to ensure that any camera, mobile telephone or other device is properly wrapped and protected against these elements. We cannot be held responsible in any way for negligence and/or not following suggestions for any damage related to this.
  • Please ensure that you bring sunglasses, a hat /cap and sunblock with a high SPF factor when traveling with us on this tour – even when it is cloudy, the sunrays still have an immense power.
  • We reserve the right to make necessary changes to the excursion in case of unfavourable weather conditions or situations where we are forced to make alterations to guarantee the safety of our guests.
  • It is the responsibility of the customer to provide us with the correct hotel information, should pick-up and drop-off services be included in the package. Any changes in accommodation outside 24 hours will be handled accordingly: changes within 24 hours may be on request.
  • In the event of no-show or change of accommodation without prior consent and confirmation from us within 24 hours may result in the applicable cancellation charges as outlined in the terms and conditions.

Start typing and press Enter to search