The first 1000 words

Young monks

Young monks at a temple on Mount Phou Si in Luang Prabang (Laos), preparing for the next day, overlooking the beautiful Nam Kham river (which meets the majestic Mekong just around the corner).

The monks, young and old, wake up at 4 am every morning for prayers before they descend into the city for the daily alms ceremony at 6 am. What looks like the entire population of the town gathers outside their homes and shops to present food, drinks and other offerings to the monks. Unfortunately, what used to be a calm and traditional ceremony has now become a tourist staple. Besides the locals, there are throngs of tourists who think of this as a “show” more than anything else. A few years ago, monks started getting sick from the stale offerings many tourists had bought the day before. Many senior monks decided they wanted to stop the ceremony, but the local government insisted that they continue – for tourism’s sake.

This picture (and post) is part of my #365k photo series

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