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From the Ground: New Luang Prabang Evening Chanting and Meditation Tour

By Nicole Long and Jay Austin,

 Luang Prabang is known for its many beautiful and historic temples, and for the hundreds of monks collecting alms around dawn each morning.  For guests who want to enrich their experience by stepping into Laos’ spiritual world, rising before dawn is no longer the only option.  We now offer a new evening mediation tour!  This tour makes an excellent add-on and can easily combined with any itinerary.   We find that our guests love the chance to learn more about the life of the local monks and participating in this activity will add to feeling of serenity and peace that accompanies spending time in Laos. Participating in this Chanting and Mediation tour also gives travelers the opportunity to help give back to the local community through the temple donation included.

Here’s what the new Evening Chanting and Meditation Tour looks like:

This evening, at approximately 5:30pm you will join your guide at Wat Nong Temple for the monks’ evening chanting and meditation. You will have the opportunity to absorb the sounds of the monks chanting as you take in the splendor of the gold stenciling and woodwork of Wat Nong, located in the heart of Luang Prabang’s old town. After chanting, the abbot of the temple will lead the monks in meditation. Your guide will help translate if needed for your introduction to their meditation practice. At the end of the session, you and your guide will give a donation offering to the temple before departing for dinner at a local Lao restaurant.

From the Ground: New Siem Reap Spiritual Tour

The Fortune Teller in Siem Reap – Photo Credit: Anna Baldwin

We are thrilled to announce Journeys Within’s new Siem Reap Spiritual Tour, which will give you a brief glimpse into Cambodia’s deeply spiritual culture.  Fortune Tellers, alongside monks, are deeply respected in the community and are frequently visited for advice about life, and to ask guidance from the spirits. On the Journeys Within Spiritual Tour, you will begin with visit to a local fortune teller for a session. As he does a reading for you,  the Journeys Within guide will translate his words into English.

Afterwards,  you will move on to visit the pagodas of Siem Reap – Wat Bo, Wat Preah Prom Rath and Wat Damnak. Most Khmers (Cambodians) visit their local pagoda (also known as wats or temples) regularly to receive blessings and give alms to the spirit world – a very important part of the Buddhist religion, and pagodas become extremely busy around religious holidays, especially Khmer New Year and Pchum Benh.  You will receive a blessing performed by a monk from the pagoda to cleanse your spirit from which you will take away a small red ribbon tied around your wrist to protect you for the rest of your travels.

Note: If Spiritual Readings interest you, you may also be interested in meeting with Sophie Ferry.  Sophie originally hails from France but was trained in the healing arts in Laos before moving to Siem Reap.  She specializes in moving energy, and works with expats, travelers, locals and animals to heal both mind and body.  While not part of our Spiritual Tour, if you are interested in meeting with Sophie, let the Journeys Within team know, and we can help arrange this for you.