|Gathering before the light and heat of the day
|Alms giving begins with the early sunlight
If you do go, don't get influenced by others' bad behavior. I was getting upset with the tourists sticking phones right up in the monks' faces, but I simply tried to stay unobtrusive while observing this tradition and channel some of the calm from the monks to let go of my feelings. As you can see above, a number of tourists/Buddhists from abroad did participate in giving alms or watched with great respect. Unfortunately, as you can see in the blurry picture below, others only cared about snapping the picture.
Since our hotel was just a short distance away, I had the chance both mornings to walk up the hill with some of the monks and observe locals waiting for them on the side streets. This was my favorite part...away from the vans dropping off loads of tourists.
After observing the alms giving, it's worth taking a stroll around Luang Prabang to watch the town wake up. The mist over the Mekong makes the mornings look completely different than other times of day...really magical.