The town of Luang Prabang boasts a history and culture that is intrinsically linked to Theravada Buddhism. The 1,200 monks and novices residing in Luang Prabang make up a significant portion of the town’s overall population. Amantaka offers insight into Buddhist culture and an array of activities to get closer to daily life in Luang Prabang. Here is a taster of an upcoming local festival.
boun ok phan-sa: 29 october – 1 november 2012
This festival marks the end of Buddhist Lent and the monks’ three-month fast and retreat during the rainy season. The atmospheric festival takes place on 30 October and sees donations and offerings being made at temples around town, with evening candlelit processions held at temples. The following day, a fire boat procession is held in the evening, after which hundreds of colourful offerings decorated with flowers, incense and candles are set adrift on the Mekong River to thank the river spirits.
On arrival on 29 October, guests are welcomed with a traditional Baci Ceremony, followed by dinner at the resort. Afterwards, the town’s night market can be explored. The next morning, an early start sees guests exploring the local market, and then enjoying a guided tour of local temples and the Royal Palace museum. Lunch is taken at Amantaka, and is followed by a lecture by the Amantaka cultural advisor on the festival. Afterwards, guests take in the local celebrations, including the candlelit procession by the villagers. On 31 October there is a scenic cruise along the Mekong with a picnic lunch on board. An early dinner by Amantaka’s pool includes the creation of local river offerings. After a fire boat procession, guests may set afloat their offerings down the Mekong River, alongside local villagers. Breakfast at the resort on 1 November concludes the experience.