By Mark Andrews
Metropolis Magazine (Tokyo). 11/06/2010
To get the most out of a day in Luang Prabang, you need to get up early. First come the waves of saffron at dawn (around 6-6:30am, depending on the time of year), as monks stream from the wats to collect alms in their bowls. The ritual has become something of a tourist attraction, but it remains meaningful to the local people.
As the monks file barefoot back into their temples, the locals turn their attention to food. The fresh produce market, in an alleyway running down the side of the former Royal Palace, is at its busiest early in the morning. An old lady fries corn cakes, while hill tribe women sell banana leaves and sweet potatoes. Each stallholder has a meager selection of exotic-looking fruit or vegetables laid out on the ground in front of them, as housewives flit about examining the wares.
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