Alms Giving & Meditation

Traditional Lao Morning Experience

Wishlist
$25.00 per guest
Hosted by Thong Vanh

Highlights

  • Experience being a part of the alms giving ceremony in Luang Prabang and handing out alms to monks who take part in the daily sacred ceremony
  • Learn and practice meditation in a temple with instruction from local monks
  • Understand through an insider the significance of the procession and the importance of meditation in Buddhism
  • Visit Wat Mai, one of the largest and oldest temples in Luang Prabang, together with a monk from the temple who will bring you around

Inclusive of:

  • Food for giving alms to the monks during the alms giving ceremony
  • Breakfast of a local noodles soup at a special stall we recommend
  • Guided tour to the local's market of exotic produce
  • Meditation and a guided visit to Wat Mai with a local monk from the temple
  • Pickup from your hotel in the morning

Not Inclusive of:

  • Dropoff to your hotel
  • Additional Food and drinks at the market
5 Out of 5
8 Reviews
Brent White New Zealand
5
14 Jul, 2019

Great experience. Learnt more about Buddhism and the process of giving, and receiving, alms. The trip to the market was ...

Stephen Cox
5
31 Mar, 2019

I really enjoyed the guides time and knowledge. Very friendly, nicely relaxed it was just what i wanted.

$US 25.00 per guest
3 hours
1 - 8 guest
Cancellation Policy: Moderate

Full refund available for cancellations made up to 24 hours prior to booking start time.

More About This Experience

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) Activities timeline: 5:00 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. 5.40 am: Visit the morning market and have breakfast at a local noodle shop (included within the price) 6.30 am: Discover Wat Mai(The largest temple of Luang Prabang) 7.30 am: Head to temple for meditation 8.00 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

Additional Information:

  • Pick up will be via a tuktuk
  • Dropoff will be at the National Museum where you can continue the tour on your own. (no transport to hotel is included)
  • Please wear clothes that cover your shoulders and knees to enter the temple

Upcoming availability

Thursday, July 25
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Saturday, July 27
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Sunday, July 28
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Your Local Host

Thong Vanh

Thongvanh is a monk who has been finished his Dharma study in Vientiane and now is a Dharma teacher at the Buddhist High School temple in Luang Prabang. He became a monk since he was at secondary school. He would l...

More about the host

8 reviews from people who took this experience

Brent White New Zealand
5
14 Jul, 2019

Great experience. Learnt more about Buddhism and the process of giving, and receiving, alms. The trip to the market was really interesting and allowed me to see another side of Laos. The meditation session was informative and the novice monk spoke great English and was extremely welcoming, I asked a lot of questions!

Stephen Cox
5
31 Mar, 2019

I really enjoyed the guides time and knowledge. Very friendly, nicely relaxed it was just what i wanted.

Barbara Safranek
5
4 Feb, 2018

This was a tremendous experience, which I highly recommend, and particularly with Backstreet, which provides a thoughtful, personal setting with regular local people (mainly young people and students, I believe) who are kind, eager and engaging. It couldn't be more different than a typical "tour" led by a professional guide.

Gaylene M Laos
5
11 Jan, 2018

We booked the almsgiving experience with Backstreet Academy and combined it with a tour of the early morning market including breakfast, and then learning about meditation with the Abbot of one of the temples. It was wonderful to take part in the almsgiving and learn about how and why it happens, without intruding and gawking like the rest of the tourists on the street who didn't show respect. We have ice provided for us and my daughter gave out chocolate bars. It was also wonderful to know that we were helping our guide with his english. The second trip we did was to the Living Fields Rice Community where we learned to grow rice, ploughing, threshing, harvesting, grinding etc. Absolutely fabulous and the memory will live with us all for many years. It was entertaining, engaging, informative, fun and it gave us all a deep respect for sticky rice and how much work is involved in growing it without any mechanization.

Omar B Laos
5
11 Jan, 2018

I took two activities of Backstreet Academy in Luang Prabang: Cement Bags - Recycled Lao Freitag and A Monk's Life in Luang Prabang. The hosts were extraordinary and I got insight about life in Laos that I could not have gotten otherwise. Not to be missed! Show less

US$ 25.00 per guest
8 Reviews