Thailand Travelogue: Mass Alms Giving Ceremony to 30,000 Monks in Bangkok
Earlier this year the Tourism Authority of Thailand invited me to come visit the country and create our first ever Asian guide for GayCities. The phenomenal travel connoisseur Carlos Melia took me, YouTuber Davey Wavey and colleagues from Pink Triangle Press, Passport magazine and dot429 around Bangkok, Chiang Mai and the Golden Triangle region showing us the shiniest gems Thailand has to offer. The following travelogue retraces highlights from my fourth day there.
While out on that Friday night with the guys at the gay clubs of Bangkok, Carlos told us that the following morning there would be this massive ceremony where 30,000 monks would take the streets of Bangkok to collect alms.
Even though it was the morning after our night owlin’ adventures in the city, I knew I couldn’t miss this. So with 3 hours of sleep, I awoke at 6 am and went down to the city center with Carlos where I witnessed this.
Local devotees woke up early this morning to offer alms in the form of food and money to 30,000 friendly, self-sacrificing monks gathered on the streets of Bangkok.
Giving alms to monks is a revered ceremony in Thailand. The monks are public servants to a certain degree, and citizens feel obliged to provide food and other items of essential need while the monks embark on the spiritual journey.
The traditional Buddhist ritual also drew television news crews, high-ranking officials and camera-wielding tourists.