Alms Giving Ceremony, Luang Prabang

Landmark · Tourist Spot
In a World Heritage-listed city, you can take part in one of most sacred and ancient Lao traditions known as Alms Giving Ceremony. The ritual begins at sunrise with around 200 devotees departing from their temples and spreading out all over the city to hand out alms. Before participating in the spiritual ceremony, purchase the simple offerings of rice, traditional sweet snacks, or fresh fruit. Should you wish not to give any alms, keep an appropriate distance from the monks and behave in a respectful manner. Cover your chest, legs, and shoulders in modest clothing, and turn off the flash on your camera. Plan to visit Alms Giving Ceremony during your Luang Prabang vacation using our convenient Luang Prabang online tour itinerary planner.
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Alms Giving Ceremony reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.0
4,376 reviews
Google
4.2
TripAdvisor
  • This was a weird experience! Our hotel encouraged us to buy rice to give to the monks - but the monks didn't really want it, and seemed to hand most of it over to poor kids who were lined up around.....  more »
  • Everyday, at sunrise, saffron-robed bare feet monks and novices emerge on the streets of Luang Prabang's "Old Quarter" with their alms bowls. This is an important tradition in Laos' Buddhist culture.....  more »
  • It happens everywhere in the country but in Luang Prabang because of the numerous temple surrounding you it is more scenic! Should not be advertised as a tourism thing really..  more »
Google
  • Many groups of monks walking along the street (actually more streets) receiving alms. The ceremony begins early in the morning while it's still quite dark. Unfortunately, the ceremony became very touristy. That's not necessarily bad, it helps to keep up the tradition but many of the tourists simply can't behave respectfully. They're going too close trying to take a picture with their mobile phones, they're using flashes etc. Yes, the quality of our pictures isn't that great but taking cool pictures at the price of disturbing the ceremony is not an option for us. If you really need better pictures bring an appropriate photographic equipment with you.
  • It deeply saddens me that such a great ceremony has already seen its greatest times and it is all in the past. Most people contributing to the alms giving are tourists guided by tour guides. There are certain rules that ought to be followed in order to show respect to the monks and the tradition. However, mostly tourists from Far East were strongly interfering with the ceremony by not obeying the rules and stopping the procession on several occasions. To summarise: the alms giving is not genuine and nor it is very pleasant to see for cultured people as of now.
  • I'm glad I got up early to experience the Alms Giving Ceremony troughs monks. But like last review, I agree that some tourists go over the line to make a perfect photo or film. I also regretted that 90% tourists give a gift to a monk and then the gift is immediately passed on to the poor people. That makes you feel good again
  • Every temple has its own alms giving, but the majority of monks walk down the Main Street. It is very nice to just sit quietly and respectfully from the other side of the street and observe the locals. But it is sad to see the noisy influence of disrespectful tourists and vendors that sell rice for tourists to give to the monks. Just try to avoid them and find a quiet spot for a better experience. We arrived at 540am (but I think it started at 530) and it was done by 6am.
  • Beautiful but incredibly touristy.

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