One of the greatest ceremonies in Buddhism, especially in Luang Prabang, is the ceremony of alms giving. Today throngs of tourists wake up at 5.30am in order to witness this sacred ceremony, which is a sight to behold. However, you should not just be a camera toting tourist infringing upon the ceremony. Participate in the ceremony with a Backstreet Academy host!
Join me in being one of the persons giving alms to the monks! We will be lining up together with all the devotees giving out the food the the monks walking past us. This is a much more meaningful way of participating in the ceremony and directly helps the monasteries as well as keeping the tradition alive.
Understand the ins and outs of the whole procession and the history behind it, together with someone who has been doing it for years. And right after the ceremony we will head to a temple to learn the art of meditation from a monk who is a Dharma teacher at a Buddhist school in Luang Prabang. You can also take the chance to ask any questions you might have about meditation and buddhism as well as have an inside look at the temple and the activities they do there.
After clearing your mind through meditation in the pristine temple, we will discover the Lao morning market and see how the locals do their 'marketing' everyday in a traditional market filled with things you don't see usually, such as snakes, insects, birds, rats, bee's wax and other fresh countryside herbs and vegetables. We will then take you to a local noodle stall or porridge shop (depending on your preference) to have the most local breakfast you'll have. .
After breakfast we will visit Wat Mai, the impressive temple which is one of Luang Prabang's largest and most richly decorated temples. The name of the temple means "new temple" which was built around 1780 by King Anurat of Luang Prabang kingdom and it's one of the temple that survived the destruction by Chinese invaders in 1887.
This temple used to be home of the Prabang Buddha image after many of Luang Prabang's temples were destroyed by Chinese invaders in 1887, before it was moved to its current location in the Royal Palace Museum. Nowadays during Lao New Year celebration the Prabang Buddha image is brought to this temple for ceremonial cleaning.
Finally we drop you at the Luang Prabang National museum where was the royal palace of the Lao king before 1975. (Tour on your own)
5.20 am Meet at pick-up point outside the post office and participate like a Lao to offer food to novices and monks on the street.
6.30 am: Visit the morning market and have breakfast at a local noodle shop (included within the price)
7.30 am: Discover Wat Mai(The largest temple of Luang Prabang)
8.00 am: Head to temple for meditation
8.40 am: Drop you at the National Museum (The first and the last of Lao kings home)
Note: The Museum entrance fee (30,000kips) is not included and it closes on Tuesdays.
Please kindly note:
- Please wear clothes that cover your shoulders and knees to enter the temple