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“An anthropological case study” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Alms Giving Ceremony

Alms Giving Ceremony
Th Sisavangvong (main road to town), Luang Prabang, Laos
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Campton
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
29 attraction reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
“An anthropological case study”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2012

Much has been written about the calm serenity and the frenzied rudeness, hence very good opportunity to witness varied humanistic behaviours and to feed/reject one's own racial stereotypes and prejudices. Along the main drag near the Eastern end where the wats are located, the full touristic glory of loud tour guides (guides! maybe they should know better) shattering the ears, flashbulbs shattering the eyes. Vanloads of Asian tour groups (Thai? pilgrims?) giving, and falang (Occidentals & Korean/Asian backpackers) observing, all snapping away, in your face. Found myself pressing forward with the mob: easy to get swept up in the moment. Locals warn falang of scams demanding payment for "offerings", so be aware and smile a lot. Also avoid buying unsuitable offerings such as commercial plastic wrapped biscuits/cookies. The senior monk/abbot especially spends most of his time fishing out these and other junk from his rice container and giving them to little boys who collect them in large plastic bags. These little ones chase the procession, and can be more irritating than tourists, but is it some kind of vast cosmic cycle? The quieter, local-only riverside Khem Khon street experience has a more "genuine" feel, certainly the atmosphere encourages respectful distance, and no recycling boys. All in all, a worthy view especially for self-reflection about our own assumptions.

Visited December 2012
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Kiama
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“A must see”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2012

You must not miss seeing the Monks collect alms when you are in Luang Prabang. We got up at 5.50am on each of the four mornings we were there so we didn't miss seeing them.

Visited December 2012
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Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam
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9 reviews 9 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“If you are a morning person”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2012

If you like waking up early in the morning then watching or participating in alms giving ceremony is one thing you can do in the morning. Mind you, the monks only come out from their temples only at daybreak and not at the crack of dawn.

Visited December 2012
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Kuala Lumpur
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142 reviews 142 reviews
89 attraction reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
82 helpful votes 82 helpful votes
“A ceremony which need our help to be protected.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2012

No 1 things to do/seen in Luang Prabang. Monks at dawn (6am) collecting alms of rice from kneeling villagers. Visitor can take part too but advisable no flash photo. For dressed and preparation, please ssk your guesthouse host to assist you the day before in preparing if you'd like to get up and give alms in the morning.

Visited December 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Well worth doing”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2012

Travellers - PLEASE show respect at this ceremony. When we were there most tourists disgraced themselves by using flash on their camera's; taking photos without permission; not honouring the ceremony and the people taking part. This is such a special event - shame when thoughtless people spoil it for others.

Visited December 2012
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