Almsgiving is a religious practiced on the streets of Luang Prabang where monks accept rice, sugarcane, bananas, and any other food that the people in town have to offer them. At 6:00 every morning residents of the town come to the sidewalks and set up carpets to kneel on while they offer handfuls of rice and other food to the monks who pass by. I had never heard of almsgiving before my visit to Laos, and I admittedly don’t know very much (or anything at all, really) about Buddhism. I am eager to learn though, and now that I’m here and have the opportunity to witness one of these ceremonies, I am more than willing to wake up absurdly early for it.
We wake up late in the day and go across the street for breakfast. Everyone is off doing their own thing, some people are still asleep, and I think some of us are at a pool somewhere, but Ilona and I head over to the market. It’s only really a true market at night time and most of the shops are now closed, but we do find some cute jewelry. Ilona buys a thin silver bangle for each of the girls in our little travel group, for us to add to the random assortment of bands and bracelets on our wrists.
There is supposed to be a beautiful waterfall half an hour outside Luang Prabang so we decide that today is a good day to go see it. We couldn’t get a hold of the boys this morning, who are staying at a different hostel, so after a quick breakfast we find a tuk tuk to take us out to the waterfall, and ask him to make a stop at the boys’ hostel to see if we can find them. Our driver agrees to stop, acknowledges that he knows what hostel we’re asking him to go to, and somehow still manages to ignore what we asked and just drives us straight to the waterfall without the boys. Thanks bro.
I get up at 6:30 in order to take a shower and make it in time for breakfast downstairs, which they asked us to pre-order from a menu last night. I ordered a banana pancake, which turns out to be the best of all the breakfasts. Bonus. They also asked us to order our lunch, which they’ve packed up in boxes so we can bring them with us on the boat. So lovely!