|05:30 AM - 06:00 AM|
People watching (street)
Alms Giving Ceremony is good for
- Highly recommended by fellow travellers.
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Why Alms Giving Ceremony is special ?
The Tak Bat, or the Buddhist monks' morning collection of food in Luang Prabang, has become a must-see for travelers to Luang Prabang in Laos. And yet the tak bat's growing popularity among tourists may also be turning this serene ritual into an endangered one.
The practice of offering food to monks is most visible in Theravada Buddhist countries like Laos and Thailand, where the practice sustains large monastic communities.
In Luang Prabang, this tradition manifests as a morning ritual where monks silently line the streets while locals (and interested tourists) put gifts of food into the bowls carried by the monks
What to explore at Alms Giving Ceremony?
Alms giving takes place daily as the sun rises, beginning on the main street of Luang Prabang before spreading out to all the side streets. You should buy your offerings (usually food) in advance and arrive with plenty of time to spare as it’s considered very offensive to disrupt the ceremony once it has commenced.
Follow the guidance of the locals by kneeling down ready to give your offering to the monks; most common gifts include rice, fresh fruit and traditional sweet snacks. The idea of the alms giving is for the Buddhist monks to make merit and also to collect food for their one meal of a day.
How to get to Alms Giving Ceremony?
The best way to visit this attraction is by tuk tuk.
- A sight to see - worth getting up early for
- Truely magical experience
- Alms giving for good luck
- Be respectful ,its more than only attraction
- An early morning experience - one of a kind
Luang Prabang, Louangphabang, Laos
Tips for you
Our tour guide was very good and took us to a back away from the tourist scrum that was happening on the road where the temple is located. Therefore we had a much more calmer experience which was amazing to watch. The monks parade through the streets between 05:30/06:00 am so it's an early start but it was worth it. The locals come out and sit patiently, one lady was doing her knitting whilst waiting to give her offerings to the monks. There was local girl, clearly very poor you could tell by her appearance. She had joined a small group of old locals who were waiting to give their offerings. However, this girl was here with her basket to collect offerings from the monks themselves and any tourists that wanted to donate some food or money into her basket. The monks when they passed placed food/rice into her basket which I thought was lovely, helping this very poor and clearly in need of some charity herself. Someone had placed a chocolate bar in her basket which she clearly enjoying. Very sad to see such a young child who'd been sent out this early in the morning to beg for food but I'm sure she never returns with an empty basket. It was amazing to see a line of monks with their orange garments walking up this road as far as the eye could see. One of the young novices was clearly enjoying himself and was smiling away and interacting with the tourists which isn't really what he's supposed to do but I found this amusing and heart warming, he was just a young kid himself and clearly hadn't mastered the art of behaving like the others monks just yet. Do ensure you find a quiet street to embrace and soak up this ceremony, I'm sure my experience wouldn't have been as enjoyable if I had been on one of the busier roads where crowds of tourists gather.