Saturday, January 5, 2013

Chanting Monks in Laos

Chanting Monks in Laos

On January 1st we flew to Luang Prabang in Laos. We again stayed in the old part of town, nestled in the corner between the Mekong and Nam Kang rivers. The town is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and is known for its many Buddhist temples and monasteries. Every morning the local monks walk the streets collecting alms, which provides their food for the day.

We got up before dawn both days to view the alms tradition and to wander the streets before it got busy. The Mekong river is very peaceful that early in the morning. One afternoon we joined the monks for their evening chant, which was a special experience and very relaxing. We recorded their chants, as we sat on the floor behind them. It was interesting talking to one of the monks, who has plans to join a monastery in the capital city and go to University to be an accountant.

We are really glad we visited Luang Prabang, which was highly recommended by our friend Larry Henderson. Apparently the town is similar to how Chiang Mai was 20 years ago, and it is likely the town will be very different in coming years. We had some great food in Laos, and of course a massage. Our plan is to have a massage in every country!

Our two days in Laos were a welcome rest after the busy week in Thailand.

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