Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Beautiful people

Day 79: Monks

This morning we woke up at 4:30am, got ready, and grabbed the bikes we rented from our hotel to bike 20 minutes to town. Every morning in Luang Prabang, the monks walk in a procession from their monasteries through the town with their alms bowls, and the townspeople sit along the sidewalk on their path, and offer them rice and other foods and money for their daily sustenance. The monks walk from all directions through the town to collect their food for the day, so they are dependent on the generosity of the town’s people.  It is such a beautiful tradition to begin the day donating to the monks, and really shows the character of the people here.

Once the procession was over, we walked through the morning market where all the sellers had their fruits, vegetables, and various animals (some alive, some dead) and animal parts for sale. Since it was only 6:30am by the time we were done, we biked back to the hotel and had breakfast before going back to bed for a few hours!

Once we re-awoke, we hopped on our bikes and biked back to town to start visiting all the temples (there are tons of them) around town. The heat was already blistering as we visited the temples, and after a few of them, we had to stop to rest and regain some energy with lunch.

After lunch, we continued visiting temples, including one at the top of a mountain (although we realized afterwards that we completely missed the main statues on the other side of the mountain)! We saw the royal palace museum, with relics from the various kings’ reigns, and then, utterly exhausted, biked back to our hotel to relax for a few hours. 

At night, we went back to town, and walked down an alley full of people selling food. We had dinner at a buffet street stall, which made us feel like locals, and then walked through the night market again, before taking the shuttle back to the hotel and sleeping. 
Monks' procession through town

Morning market

Frogs for sale at the morning market

Temple in town

 Dinner buffet at the night market

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