Photo du Jour: ‘Monk Beds’ in Luang Prabang, Laos

In Buddhism, it’s believed that followers can get good results by giving merit. One approach is by offering alms, either through a Tak Bat ceremony or by donating items to those who are leading a monastic lifestyle.

In Luang Prabang’s Wat Xieng Thong temple courtyard, we happened upon this recently-donated stash of goods. There was everything from orange bunk beds and bedding to toiletries, fans, and pillows.

Novice monks mingled out in the courtyard. Some read books or toyed with their iPods or mobile phones while others interacted with tourists who were eager to show them photographs they had snapped.

I wonder if seniority dictates which monk gets which goodies?



Where in the World?

Photography & text © Tricia A. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.

Published by Tricia A. Mitchell

Tricia A. Mitchell is a freelance writer and a co-founder of Eloquence. Born in Europe but raised in the United States, she has lived in Valletta, Malta, as well as Heidelberg, Germany. An avid globetrotter who has visited more than 65 countries, she has a penchant for off-season travel. Tricia has learned that travel’s greatest gift is not sightseeing, rather it is the interactions with people. Some of her most memorable experiences have been sharing a bottle of champagne with distant French cousins in Lorraine, learning how to milk goats in a sleepy Bulgarian village, and ringing in the Vietnamese New Year with a Hanoi family. She welcomes any opportunity to practice French and German, and she loves delving into a place’s history and artisanal food scene. A former education administrator and training specialist, Tricia has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in international relations. She and her husband, Shawn, married in the ruins of a snowy German castle. They’ve been known to escape winter by basing themselves in coastal Croatia or Southeast Asia. Though they are currently nomadic, they look forward to establishing a European home someday. Her writing has appeared in Fodor’s Travel, Frommer’s, and International Living.

17 thoughts on “Photo du Jour: ‘Monk Beds’ in Luang Prabang, Laos

    1. Jessie, thank you! It’s a delight making multiple friends in new corners of the world, but of course it can be sad being geographically-separated. Even when our friends are absent from our lives due to distance, I do think they enrich them. Reminds me of a Thoreau quote: “Nothing makes the earth seem so spacious as to have friends at a distance; they make the latitudes and longitudes.”

    1. Kevin, I also found it fun to observe and portray the monks interacting with technology since it’s something to which most can relate.

      Nice to hear from you again – I imagine India must be sizzling right now!

      1. Here’s hoping you’ll get out this weekend for some snapping! I miss the lively atmosphere there and the spicy food. If only Naan, Paneer and Thali fare could be emailed to us! :)

  1. These are beautiful images and the text is well-written, as ever. Earlier this week a monk passed me on an escalator at Embankment tube station. The juxtaposition seemed incongruous but just seeing him made me smile and feel cheered up. :)

    1. Greetings, Rachael! Your experience mirrors one we had on a train in Italy last spring. We took open seats next to a monk. Everyone around us seemed to be in their own worlds, yet when we sparked conversation with him, he seemed to draw everyone around us in! What a charismatic and friendly person he was. We wore a smile on our faces for many hours thereafter. And we still hear from him on Facebook from time to time. :)

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