Monks and Markets
Trip Start May 20, 2010
195Trip End Sep 05, 2011
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Where I stayed
Day : 174
Temperature : 30 degrees daytime, 22 degrees night time
Weather : Still glorious blue skies and bright sunshine
Our alarm went off at 5.30am. Did we really want to get up? No, of course not. I was so warm and cosy and comfy in my soft bed, with soft pillows, and soft duvet. This had better be worth it! Wearily we got up, banged on the door so that we could get out. We were slightly perturbed to find that the staff had literally locked us in…and it was a big, solid, wooden door. God knows what would happen if there was a fire because we would have absolutely no means of escape. Fortunately, someone came to open the door and we ventured out onto the street
Well, we did see some monks…..hundreds of monks! Every morning the locals (and tourists) give Alms to the monks. Basically, this is food. All the monks walk down the streets one by one, in silence, barefoot, holding bowls which they carry by means of a strap around their necks. They stop ever so briefly when they pass someone at the roadside, open the lid of their bowl and the person dollops some food into it. No words are exchanged. No eye contact is made. There were old monks, young monks, and everything in between. There were monks in bright orange robes, monks in mustard coloured robes, and novice monks with orange robes and yellow waistbands. There were monks as far as the eye could see. What an amazing sight. Within half an hour it is all over…and you are left thinking "where else in the world would I see something like this?" We took two hundred photographs in half an hour! Don't worry, we won’t bore you with all two hundred…maybe just a hundred!!
We spent the rest of the day relaxing, taking in the atmosphere of Luang Prabang
The following morning we packed our bags and reluctantly said goodbye to Luang Prabang. What a great place though. We both loved it and it would definitely be one of the places we would love to come back to. But we needed to move on, and so we headed back to the bus station for our journey back to Vientiane. Thankfully, we have booked our seats, and made sure that we had good, comfy seats on the left hand side of the bus, together. It was, however, as if we were being karmically punished for some previous travelling misdemeanour, as when we boarded the bus we discovered that a). we were not sat together, and b). one of the seats did not recline and had barely any leg room!!!! It was going to be another long ten and a half hours….roll on Phuket!!!