The temple on the top of Mount Phousi is nothing special but there is an interesting reclining Buddha on the trip up. Also the view from the top is quite nice, especially at sunrise/set. The morning alms seems like a tourist attraction because of the number of tourists. Many of the tourists are bused in from Thailand. They participate in the tak bak by giving food to the novice monks. They pay a fee and the tourist company has prepared foods and prime spots for them to give food to the monks.
I cannot recommend strongly enough that you walk around the wats in the afternoon so that you may be engaged in conversation by novice monks eager to improve their English skills. The novice monks are overwhelmingly children of poor rural rice farmers who cannot afford them an education. this is their only chance out of the rice fields and to get a formal education. you may be asked to help at an evening English language class offered for novice monks. You just need to read English text so they can hear proper pronunciation. these kids will amaze you with their cultured manners, good behavior, maturity and eagerness to learn. Meet a few friends, buy them a Lao-English dictionary at a local bookstore.
Here are a few of my shots from my last trip there.http://www.flickr.com/photos/phil_marion/sets/72157628665340967/