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Laos: Laos Buddhist Monks

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Laos Buddhist Monks | Laos | Asia

[Visited: December 2000]

You don't have to come close to a temple in Laos to see Buddhist monks. And you don't have to know anything about Buddhism to recognize them. They are unmistakeably dressed in bright orange - the more brownish orange is reserved for the wise and senior. And they fill the streets everywhere. You can see them walking around a temple with a disposable camera, taking pictures of Buddha statues. You can also hear them sing heavenly songs in Buddhist temples.

Picture of Laos Buddhist Monks (Laos): Monk walking street of Vientiane

But most of all, you come across them everywhere. Their appearance colours the streets. And if you are out of bed early, you can see them going around the streets to collect food and drinks, offered by Laotians. They sometimes come in groups, sometimes alone. And they always walk with dignity.

Picture of Laos Buddhist Monks (Laos): Monk entering a temple

It is perhaps surprising to see a considerable amount of very young monks. They have been found without parents to take care of them, and they have been adopted by elder monks. Staying in the monastery and becoming a monk themselves is their way to pay tribute to their survival. And perhaps, some day, they will also take a young boy from the streets, shave his head, and dress him in orange.

Picture of Laos Buddhist Monks (Laos): Drying robe of monk
Picture of Laos Buddhist Monks (Laos): Bathing monks on Mekong River
Picture of Laos Buddhist Monks (Laos): Monks collecting food in Luang Prabang

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