We rose early one morning to watch the procession of monks collecting food as alms at the break of dawn. We chose to stand near the Wat Nong Temple, a couple of blocks away from the main street. The street was empty except for several groups of women who came out with their baskets of sticky rice and sat on mats on the ground waiting for the different groups of monks to come by. A small amount of sticky rice was given by each woman to each monk. The monks eat in the morning and are not allowed to eat after 11 or 11:30 AM. It was good to see how the locals take care of feeding their monks and that this forms a sort of social system since the monks try to take care of others in society who cannot make it on their own.
We had read earlier some public announcement leaflets asking tourists not to get into the monks' faces to block their stride or use flash to distract them. Luckily, we didn't have many tourists around us, but then right before the end of the procession a couple came and did all of that stuff. It was quite ugly, and we felt bad for the monks being treated like they were in the zoo.