I knew this would happen
This woman was one of the many locals feeding the monks at dawn. This is commonly known as the Morning Alms.
VanVieng, Laos was one of the hardest places I pulled myself away from. The people i met, the kids I taught, the town itself, swimming the Mekong Delta, everything about it was addicting. Alas, time and money were running out so i headed north to Luang Prabang. The charm? It has on of the biggest monk populations in Asia, and any walk down the streets at 5AM proves it.
It's called the Morning Alms and it happens every day in this religious little city of Laos. Dozens of lines of about 15 monks of all ages walk down the streets with urns strapped around their shoulders. They use them to collect food from the local people who have wait patiently on their knees to donate food to these monks on their daily walks. Usually balls of sticky rice, the local people place it in each of the monk's urns for blessings.
To see the otherwise vacant streets with dots of bright orange is one of the best wake up calls I've ever had. Before the sun rises, men and women faithfully get on their knees, everyday to feed the monks.
Other than that, the city has the usual wats (temples) and a calm night market to buy lots of local crafts like woven blankets and handmade fans. The second biggest draw though, is the massive waterfall a few kilometers outside of town. I had befriended a couple of American guys who came with me to the waterfalls. These were people I had met when during our tubing trip down the Mekong River where one of the owners of a restaurant negotiated the price of his daughter--in dirt--to these guys. Despite the "No Swimming" signs, we got in for some good ol' catching up on that ridiculous day.
to capital of Laos (Vientienne) where the random Buddha Park is. There had to have been at least 30 Hindi-Buddhists statues strewn across the lawn of this massive park. Monks and tourists alike come here to compare heads with this bug Buddha statue.