Tuesday October 16, 2018 EDT 
a nomad in search of...
HOME PAGE About TheLoneRider Contact TheLoneRider Web      
Cambodia Canada France Hong Kong India Indonesia Italy Laos Malaysia Monaco Myanmar Nepal Philippines Singapore Switzerland Thailand Vietnam USA
Astral Projection Caving Fitness Freediving Kayaking Meditation Mountain Biking Mountaineering Rafting Rock Climbing Scuba Diving Snowboarding Surfing Traveling Yoga
Book Review Gear Review Hotel Review Movie Review Show Review Restaurant Review
Art Chilling Out Cool Sites Community Counter Culture Food Odyssey best food recipes Lucid Thoughts Peoplescape Politics Print Media Quantum Mechanics Random Lives Showbiz Snapshot Slice of Life Thought Bubble Teaching Verbatim Wealth Building
SEO Services Web Design Services Advertising Here


Alms Round of the Thai Plum Village Monastics Mar 10, 2016

Thai Plum Village International Practice Centre

Alms Round of the Thai Plum Village Monastics

Location: Thai Plum Village
174,176 Ban Sra Nam Sai, Moo 7, Tambon Pongtalong, Pak Chong (district), Nakhon Ratchasima (province), Thailand

Alms Round
A forward-thinking monk at Thai Plum Village, Bro. Nguyen Luc, asked if I could be a part of the monastics' alms round to a nearby village by carrying the food received by the monks and nuns. It was a privilege I wouldn't pass up. An alms round is when the monks and nuns go out of their monastery and essentially beg for food. They are given food / water and sometimes money by householders (people who earn a living and not in the monastic order). The householders in turn, are given a blessing by the monks and nuns. Monastics, by tradition, cannot earn a living in order to devote their lives in the pursuit of self-realization. As such, they have to beg for food. This is a tradition that dates back to the time of Buddha.

Alms Round of the Thai Plum Village Monastics

Luang Prabang, Laos
The first and last time I witnessed the alms round was in Luang Prabang when I was a passing backpacker. The monks came out of their temples to a waiting line of tourists who came prepared very early in the morning to give them food. This ritual became popular in Luang Prabang that it has become a tourist attraction.

Informing the Villagers
The week prior, some monastics already made their rounds in the village to distribute leaflets letting them know that monks and nuns from the Thai Plum Village would be passing through for their alms round. This would prepare the villagers to make ready anything they'd like to give the monastics.

Theravada and Mahayana Tradition
Buddhism, in the last 2500 years since the time of Buddha, has branched-off to many monastic traditions and remains the staple religion in Thailand. The widely accepted tradition is the Theravada Buddhism. These are the monks who wear the dark mustard colored robe. They subscribe to the original tenets of Buddhism which is rigid and steeped in the ways of the old world. They do not cook so they have to beg for food. They only eat one meal (or 2) a day. These are the monks the Thais are accustomed to.

The other branch of Buddhism is the Mahayana Tradition to which Thai Plum Village is a part of. Mahayana adapts to the changing norms of society and is viewed as 'modern' by the traditionalists. Even within Mahayana, there are other traditions, some, more open than others. Thai Plum Village is perhaps one of the most open - it allows its monastics to play music, play sports, cook and eat 3 times daily and even have precepts to govern the use of cell phones and cars! It doesn't mean they're party people - they simply adapt to the changing norms of society and make their tradition more accessible to the younger people. As monastics, they live by defined precepts that govern their moral and spiritual conduct. They wear a dark chocolate brown colored robe - and Thais are not used to seeing this. Thus, even though Plum Village is Buddhism in a Buddhist country, it remains largely unheard of, and unknown to Thais.

Ending Thoughts
Thai Plum Village has a well-stocked kitchen and the monastics eat healthy vegetarian food. When they do the alms round, it's not really because they need food. They do this because it's part of the Buddhist tradition, and also because this practice connects them to the nearby villages and allows them to share their merits and showcase their mindfulness. It encourages people to visit the center and benefit from its tradition.

--- TheLoneRider

Thank you Bro. Nguyen Luc for making me a part of this time-honored tradition.

Thai Plum Village International Practice Centre

with direction coming from Bangkok

GPS waypoint: 14°33'25.4"N 101°31'45.0"E
174,176 Ban Sra Nam Sai, Moo 7, Tambon Pongtalong, Pak Chong District, NakornRatchasima, Thailand

it was 6am when we left the center, still dark arriving in town the monastics form their line and begin their walk walking single file
the Thai brother walks behind the traditional Vietnamese hat, the Non La, to the left of the monastics somehow, Spartans come to mind seeing them walk slowly in cadence is like moving poetry
we were passing by mostly commercial establishments a motorcycle man passes by Bro. Nguyen Luc carries a white bag for the food and slings a Plum Village shoulder strap bag we walked perhaps a kilometer along this highway
three nuns people rubber neck because they are not used to seeing monastics in dark brown robe interestingly, Theravada monks are closing in from behind high-end resort development billboard while monastics on a vow of poverty pass under
RARE! Theravada monks on the other side of the same street from the Mahayana monks Theravada monks walk much faster...Plum Village monastics walk mindfully the long walk continues people who give alms are given a blessing
more givers along the street the givers bow in reverence as the blessings are given the Brothers the Sisters
monastics pass through heavy billboard advertisements for Khao Yai resorts and development after eating vegetables for 2 weeks, I was craving for these grilled Kai Yang chicken street hawkers give generously to the monastics a blessing is given
more blessings a child gives to the monastics nearing the end of our walk the last blessing
Thai Plum Village International Practice Centre

Thai Plum Village International Practice Centre

Location: 174,176 Ban Sra Nam Sai, Moo 7, Tambon Pongtalong, Pak Chong District, NakornRatchasima, Thailand
Tel: +66(0)2-885-5980

Blogs on Thai Plum Village

  1. Goodbye Thai Plum Village Mar 20, 2016
  2. Yoga at Thai Plum Village Mar 19, 2016
  3. Pond Picnic with the Monastics Mar 14, 2016
  4. Sentence Expansion Mar 12, 2016
  5. Alms Round of the Thai Plum Village Monastics Mar 10, 2016
  6. First Day of Teaching English at Thai Plum Village Mar 8, 2016
  7. Cyber Monk Redefined Mar 6, 2016
  8. Thai Plum Village, Day 6: Plum Village and Vipassana Mar 2, 2016
  9. Thai Plum Village, Day 5: Visa Snag Mar 1, 2016
  10. Plum Village, Day 4: Picnic with the Monastics on Lazy Monday Feb 29, 2016
  11. Plum Village, Day 2-3: Getting Settled Feb 27-28, 2016
  12. Plum Village, Day 1: Arrival Feb 26, 2016

How to Get to Plum Village from Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport

You are encouraged to arrive at the Center Friday afternoon between 2-4 pm
  1. Suvarnabhumi Airport to Bangkok proper (Phaya Thai Station)
    there is already a direct train from the airport that goes all the way to Bangkok with a final stop at Phaya Thai. Upon airport arrival, go down to Basement and take the Airport Link train to Phaya Thai Station 35 mins | Baht 45. Get off at Phaya Thai Station (the last stop) and walk (.8km) to the Phaya Thai BTS Station.
  2. Phaya Thai Station (N2) - Mo Chit Station (N8) by BTS TRAIN
    board the BTS train heading to Mo Chit and get off there.
  3. Mo Chit BTS Station (N8) - Mo Chit North Eastern Bus Terminal
    Walk to Mo Chit North & North Eastern Bus Terminal (pls note, this is a 2km might like to take a cab or tuktuk).
  4. Mo Chit North Eastern Bus Terminal - Platform 6, public van at #78
    this is a short walk. Go to Platform 6 and get on the public van at #78 offering Jamnong Tour.
    IMPORTANT ! - make sure you make it clear to the driver that HIS van drops you off at Plum Village. Otherwise, they might finish the tour in Pak Chong proper. If this happens, you're still 45 minutes away from Plum Village which costs 500 Baht by cab! Best to copy/print/take a picture of the image below to show to the driver:

    instruction to driver
    For the latest info, check out their website.
  5. Mo Chit North Eastern Bus Terminal - Plum Village by VAN
    the trip all the way to Plum Village, Pak Chong costs Baht 500 and takes 3.5 to 4 hours. Take the 11am or 12 noon van to ensure you arrive at the center before 4pm.

How to Get to Pak Chong (Proper) from Bangkok by train

ignore this if you plan to go to Plum Village. Take the direction above instead
  • If you are arriving Bangkok and would like to proceed directly to Pak Chong without spending a night in Bangkok, best to take a plane that will land in Don Mueang Airport in time for the #71 Train (Bangkok to Si Sa Ket) to stop at the MRT Train Station, Bang Sue, which is only a short walk from the airport. Train schedule at Bang Sue Station: Fri 10:27am, arriving Pak Chong 1:30pm. Express aircon car (Baht 289), non aircon (Baht 198). Duration is 3 hours, stopping right in the heart of Pak Chong. From Pak Chong.

    You can also take the train from the main terminal near the center of Bangkok at the MRT Station, Hua Lampong Railway Station. Departure, Friday 10:00am.

Plum Village Cost Index

(US$1 = Thailand Baht 35.77 = Php 47.52 as of Feb 28, 2016)
  • Baht 500 van from Victory Monument to Plum Village
  • Baht 289 Express train from Bang Sue MRT Station (Bangkok) to Pak Chong Train Station, aircon (non aircon, Baht 189)
  • Baht 500 taxi from Pak Chong to Plum Village (call this taxi number, Mr. Khun Paisan: 085 772.4519 for the trip to Plum Village)

Things to bring if staying overnight

  1. mosquito repellent
  2. hat/umbrella
  3. flashlight
  4. not a requirement, but it helps if you bring clothing in the dark brown color in order to blend-in
  1. Opening a Donation Bank Oct 14, 2018
  2. Feelin' Da Blues at Adhere the 13th Blues Bar Oct 12, 2018
  3. Visiting the Grand Palace of Thailand Oct 12, 2018
  4. A Web Mandate in Bangkok Oct 8, 2018
  5. 29 Days in Bangkok: Thank You and Goodbye Aug 27 - Sep 24, 2018
  6. Calling the Bangkok Police Sep 23, 2018
  7. Movie Review: Mindfulness and Murder (2011) Sep 22, 2018
  8. Yoga Inversions at Now's Fitness Gym Sep 19, 2018
  9. Flow Yoga with Teacher Kea at Now's Fitness Sep 18, 2018
  10. Movie Review: Under Construction (2015) Sep 15, 2018
  11. Walking Tour of Little India Sep 15, 2018
  12. Vinyasa Yoga with Teacher That at Now's Fitness Sep 14, 2018
  13. Abs Workout with Teacher San at Now's Fitness Sep 13, 2018
  14. Exercise Ball Workout with Teacher Bie at Now's Fitness Sep 11, 2018
  15. Exploring the Amphawa Floating Market Sep 9, 2018
  16. Exploring the Tree-Engulfed Wat Bang Kung Temple Sep 9, 2018
  17. Parting of the Maeklong Railway Market with a Passing Train Sep 9, 2018
  18. Exploring Damnoen Saduak Floating Market Sep 9, 2018
  19. Horse Racing at the The Royal Bangkok Sports Club Sep 8, 2018
  20. Fight Class with Teacher San at Now's Fitness Sep 7, 2018
  21. Exploring the Bangkok Art Book Fair 2018 Sep 6, 2018
  22. Circuit Training with Mild at Now's Fitness Sep 5, 2018
  23. Gentle Flow Yoga with Nuch at Now's Fitness, Bangkok Sep 4, 2018
  24. A Yogi Lost in a Modern Gym - Now's Fitness Sep 3, 2018
  25. Abundance at On Nut, Bangkok Aug 30-Sep 1, 2018
  26. Outside Looking In Aug 29, 2018
  27. Back in Bangkok After 5 Weeks Aug 27, 2018
  28. 15 Days in Bangkok July 10-24, 2018
  29. Peoplescape: Bangkok July 10-24, 2018
  30. Hatha and Yantra Yoga Fusion July 10-24, 2018
  31. Revisiting Terminal 21 Mall, Bangkok July 23, 2018
  32. Rope Skipping, 4mins Full-on July 22, 2018
  33. Sunday Visit to Chatuchak Weekend Market July 17, 2018
  34. Fork on the Road: Abundance or Poverty by Choice? July 16, 2018
  35. Loving Bangkok All Over Again Feb 22-26, 2016
  36. Hotel Review: Adventure Hostel Bangkok July 11, 2018
  37. Hotel Review: Riva Surya Bangkok Oct 20, 2014
  38. Exploring the Shopping Malls of Bangkok Oct 6-20, 2014
  39. Bangkok's Street Food Delight Oct 6-20, 2014
  40. Bangkok Revisited 3 Oct 6-20, 2014
  41. A First Timer in Bangkok December 31, 2005 - January 3, 2006

  42. Chiang Khong
  43. Ten Days in Chiang Khong, Thailand Apr 30 - May 9, 2016

  44. Chiang Mai
  45. Mike Chong Aug 8, 2018
  46. An Intimate Conversation with my Universe in Chiang Mai Aug 8, 2018
  47. Kneaded and Pampered at Zira Spa Aug 4, 2018
  48. Savoring a Baht 3,500 Birds Nest Soup at Natural Bird Nest by Burapa Aug 3, 2018
  49. Yoga Exploration at The Yoga Tree with Gernot Aug 1, 2018
  50. Yoga In The Park - Chiang Mai July 31, 2018
  51. Yoga with Adam at Hidden House Yoga, Chiang Mai July 29, 2018
  52. 2 Weeks in Chiang Mai July 25 - Aug 7, 2018
  53. A First Timer in Chiang Mai Apr 9-23, 2016
  54. Dance Mandala in Chiang Mai at The Yoga Tree Apr 19, 2016
  55. Songkran Waterfight Festival in Chiang Mai Apr 13-15, 2016
  56. Border Crossing from Siem Reap (Cambodia) to Chiangmai (Thailand) April 9-10, 2016

  57. Chiang Rai
  58. Exploring Chiang Rai, Thailand May 11-16, 2016
  59. Visiting the White Temple of Chiang Rai (Wat Rong Khun) May 15, 2016

  60. Chiang Saen
  61. Exploring Chiang Saen, Thailand Apr 28-30, 2016

  62. Mae Sai
  63. 4 Days in Mae Sai, Thailand Apr 25-28, 2016
  64. Border Crossing - Mae Sai (Thailand) to Tachileik (Myanmar) Apr 23, 2016

  65. Pai
  66. Exploring Pai, Thailand May 19-24, 2016
  67. Visiting the Land Split in Pai, Thailand May 23, 2016
  68. Trekking the Ridges of Pai Canyon May 23, 2016
  69. Climbing up the White Buddha (Wat Phra That Mae Yen) May 21, 2016

  70. Pak Chong
  71. Pak Chong (Thailand) En Route to Siem Reap (Cambodia) Mar 20-21, 2016
  72. Goodbye Thai Plum Village Mar 20, 2016
  73. Yoga at Thai Plum Village Mar 19, 2016
  74. Pond Picnic with the Monastics Mar 14, 2016
  75. Sentence Expansion Mar 12, 2016
  76. Alms Round of the Thai Plum Village Monastics Mar 10, 2016
  77. First Day of Teaching English at Thai Plum Village Mar 8, 2016
  78. Cyber Monk Redefined Mar 6, 2016
  79. Thai Plum Village, Day 6: Plum Village and Vipassana Mar 2, 2016
  80. Thai Plum Village, Day 5: Visa Snag Mar 1, 2016
  81. Plum Village, Day 4: Picnic with the Monastics on Lazy Monday Feb 29, 2016
  82. Plum Village, Day 2-3: Getting Settled Feb 27-28, 2016
  83. Plum Village, Day 1: Arrival Feb 26, 2016

  84. Phan District, Chiang Rai Province
  85. Yoga with Amm Prajna Pitchaya and the Sivananda yoga community of Phan May 16-18, 2016
  86. Visiting the Nam Lot and the Pha Khong Caves of Phan District May 18, 2016

Facebook Users
Mar 10, 2016

»» next story: Sentence Expansion
»» next Meditation story: Ananda Mandala Meditation by Punnu Wasu at The Yoga Barn
»» back to Meditation
»» back to Homepage


2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | ALL BLOGS

Pak Chong Essentials

Pak Chong bakery and cafe

Pak Chong resort hotel

Bangkok (Phaya Thai neighborhood)

Bangkok bed and breakfast hotels

authentic Vietnamese cuisine in Bangkok

Bangkok (On Nut neighborhood)

Bangkok gym, yoga, Muay Thai


[an error occurred while processing this directive]