What are the best regions to go on Thudong according to you?

What are according to you the best regions to go on Thudong according to you ? (Or let’s say “spiritual trekking” if you are a layperson )

I only know of the one from Johor to south of thailand. Done every year by Santi Forest monastery. Good rest stop at many monasteries along the way, but also gruelling as their aim is no. of steps or km per day, so they walk extra (not for the sake of going from monastery to monastery) just to fulfill those.

Anyway, my impression is that thudong is mostly thai culture only.


I’ve gone on Tudong in Australia and Europe, and I think you can do it anywhere.



Would you do me the favor please to speak about how it was in Europe ? Were you alone ? Which country ? In the forests and villages ?

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I was with a small group. Bhikkhunis shouldn’t really go on Thudong alone according to the vinaya, and my experience is also that it’s safer in a group.

I went in Germany (and a tiny bit in Belgium), and we went through fairly remote regions, but also larger towns. You need to plan your route so that you reach a larger town with supermarkets and bakeries in time for pindapata, so you can’t be too far away from civilization. If you go to villages without any shops, you won’t get any food. Sundays is also a big issue because everything is closed, so might be a fast day.

One thing to consider is whether you want to spend the night outside, or find accommodation. If you want to find accommodation, you need to be prepared to spend several hours each day searching for a place to stay, and making many calls to random strangers (church leaders, mayors, etc.) to find a public space you can stay in. If you decide to stay outside, it’s important to be aware that camping in nature is forbidden in many European countries, including Germany. So if you have a tent, you need to find a well-hidden spot, which may be difficult. Apparently, sleeping under a tarp is a loop-hole and not considered camping, thus is legal, so if you don’t mind bugs, dampness and no privacy, you can do that.

Be prepared to be checked by police, so bring ID and someone who can speak the local language. If you go through different European countries, that might be an issue.

Also, be prepared to get the whole range of reactions from people. I’ve experienced everything from physical assault (not uncommon in Australia, but rare in Europe) and verbal abuse to extreme joy and enthusiasm. People have even perceived me as an “angel” several times. So you never know what to expect.

It’s best to go during summer, because the weather is better, but also especially because of daylight savings time. So you have an extra hour to collect food. It might take hours to get enough, or you might not get much at all.

Most of the above also applies to simply going on pindapata in Europe, whether you’re on Thudong or staying in a monastery.


Thank you so much for your reply !! I appreciate.

If I go on Thudong or pindapata, it’ll be more in the south of France, it’s hotter over there.

I wonder, from what kind of people did you receive insults ? And what kind of people were extremely joyful ?
Can you go into a little bit more details about these experiences please ? :slightly_smiling_face:

Also, was it beneficial for your practice or you found that it was more detrimental ?

There’s really no way of telling how people will react. The most scary looking guy can turn out to be the gentlest person and donate with tears in his eyes, and the sweetest grandma can suddenly attack you with a rock (true story, the rock was big enough to break a skull, but luckily it missed me and only damaged my stuff). You can’t go by appearances and just have to take every person with an open mind.
Generally, many people don’t recognize us as Buddhist monastics and mis-perceive us as some other religion. In Oz, people tended to see us as Muslims and were very hostile, and in EU, they saw us as Hare Krishna and made fun of us. If people realize we’re Buddhist, they usually leave us alone.

Another common misperception is that we’re mascots to promote some store or event, or artists making a performance (they think our almsbowls are drums). So they like to come and touch us, hug us, and take pictures. That can be challenging, especially if the person is the opposite sex.
You’re more likely to get food, if people realize it’s not an art performance, and you don’t collect money. So a good trick if you’ve already got some food is to leave the bowl lid open for people to see. (Things like cucumbers (or baguette in southern France :wink:) are great for this, since they stick out of the bowl and are visible from far).

Don’t rely on Asian supermarkets and Asian restaurants for food. Just because they’re from a Buddhist country doesn’t mean they’ll donate. In fact, in my experience they most often don’t give anything. Great places to try are Muslim owned food places. They almost always enthusiastically give to “religious pilgrims”.

When staying outdoors, it’s important to watch out for ticks. They are everywhere in Europe and carry dangerous diseases such as encephalitis and lyme disease. I know several monastics who have permanently and very seriously damaged their health from tick bites.

Looking back, I’m very glad that I did it. But it can be very challenging.


With how many nuns or monks did you go ? Did you go with laypeople as well ? How long was your thudong ?

Are the mayors and church leaders in general welcoming ?

Maybe restaurant tickets is a good plan, in case there is no pindapat food.

If you have had an asian face, they would have been quicker to recognise you as a buddhist nun. Maybe wearing a kind of post “buddhist traveler monk (or nun)” on our robes would be better.