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Polaroid of the week: Cycling monks in Muang Sing, Laos

Polaroid of the week: Cycling monks in Muang Sing, Laos

Last Updated on March 9, 2021


polaroid of the week laos muang sing monks on bikes

Laos is a strictly Buddhist country, which means that, like in many Asian countries, monks in their beautiful orange robes are a sight almost everywhere we look. We chatted with one in Thailand in the back of a pick-up truck taxi, but here in Laos, there have been only many shy nods from monks in temples, at markets or, like these boys, on bikes.

Nearly every man in Laos joins a temple or monastery for at least a short period of time in their lives yet despite this and the fact that monks are considered the smartest people in the country due to a top education, some of the monks in Laos live a surprisingly hard life.  In some areas of Laos, monks have to forage for their own food in the woods or rely on food donations from local communities who believe that providing food and other donations to the well-respected monks will improve their karma.


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Wednesday 25th of September 2013

[…] during our month in Laos at the end of 2011, we traveled all the way up to a small village named Muang Sing, just three miles from the Chinese border. The influence of this might neighbor was noticeable […]

Roy Marvelous

Saturday 26th of November 2011

I wonder if the monks can quit if the want, or are they monks for life??


Monday 28th of November 2011

Great question! The monks can quit, and some only do it for a year. But so many stick it our because they get such a good education that way.


Friday 25th of November 2011

Love it - great capture!


Saturday 26th of November 2011

Thanks Cam :)


Thursday 24th of November 2011

Cool photo. The monk life is so interesting. It's amazing that in some countries it is still the best way to get a great education.


Thursday 24th of November 2011

Thanks Rease! You're right, it is the best way to get a good education in many countries and the novice monks take school very serious here :) One of the monks who talked to us in Thailand had the best English & geographical knowledge (of Germany even!) we've come across so far in South East Asia.