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As we leave South East Asia today, we are thinking about what we will miss: the delicious food of course, our daily coconuts, seeing entire families passing us on a motorbike, cheap beer and cocktails, the glorious sunsets over the ocean and the rivers, the buzzing night markets, life-threatening tuktuk rides, the smiles of the children, being surrounded by rice paddies, the beautiful golden Buddha statues and last but not least, the friendly Buddhist monks. We have seen them in Laos, in Thailand, and in Cambodia, and they have made several appearances on this site – the sight of a monk in a bright saffron robe always put a smile on our faces. Many times they would strike up a conversation with us, eager to practice their English or just show us around their temple.
In many places we visited we witnessed the alms-giving ceremony which occurs every morning in all Buddhist countries. The monks make their rounds through town, asking for alms at shops, restaurants and private homes. Buddhists believe that it brings good luck to pay respect to the monks by giving them food and put rice, fruit or vegetables in the alms bowls that the monks carry with them. In return, the monks chant a prayer and blesses the people who give the alms.