Rules of a Novice Monk

Trip Start Nov 05, 2007
Trip End Jun 22, 2008

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Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  ,
Friday, December 21, 2007

We made it to Luang Prabang a few days ago, it is an incredible city with a collection of old French colonial architecture, dotted with delicately decorated Buddhist wats and surrounded with emerald green mountains. Since Unesco (United Nations) placed the city on its World Heritage list in 1995, restorations works and a tourism boom have seen the (what the locals told us) sleepy riverside city get slowly very busy. The city's development has been heavily regulated and as a result, the city has retained its characteristic charm.
The pictures in this entry are from our after breakfast walk, around the city. It ended up taking us 7 hours!
A main food in the Lao diet is "sticky rice" which is cooked daily and then placed out in the sun to dry. It is then heated before serving in a wicker container, in which you are to take a small amount of rice and, using one hand, work it into a walnut size ball before dipping it into the food and sauce.  Tastes great!
We stopped by a temple today and meet with about 10-15 young "novice" monks around the ages of 12 to 17 years old.  They were learning English in school and wanted to talk to us in order to practice (not English we told them , but American).  I asked them the major rules of being a monk and here is their listed.
1.    No killing of any live thing (from a insect on up)
2.    No stealing
3.    Do not touch a woman
4.    No drinking of alcohol
5.    Do not tell a lie
6.    No eating after 12:00 noon
7.    No singing
8.    No cologne
9.    No sleeping higher then a Monk
10.  No gambling or selling of anything
The full list is 227 (to be a "full Monk"), they did not know why it stopped at that number. It was very interesting talking to them and getting to understand their daily life.
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