18.12.2016 - 18.12.2016 33 °C
Sunday, December 18
Today we moved to Centra Hotel to join up with the G Adventures group. It’s near one of the railway stations and in a much older part of Bangkok. For hotel security, the reception lobby was on the 12th floor of the building and to access our room on the 6th floor, we had to go up to the 12th floor and switch elevators to go down to the 6th floor, and the reverse to exit the hotel. To fill a bit of time in the afternoon, we walked a couple of blocks to the Temple of the Golden Buddha.
The hair and topknot of the sitting Buddha in this temple is 99% pure gold; from the chin to the forehead is 80% pure gold and and the body of the statue is 40% pure gold. It weighs about 5.5 tonnes and is about 4 metres tall. We stood inside the room with the Buddha for half an hour or so and when I exited, I felt a distinct change in energy in my body. I went back into the room to check if it was just my imagination but no, it wasn’t.
In the evening, we met our fellow G Adventures travellers: 10 young people from around the world - all under 45 years old - 1 other Canadian, 4 Americans, 1 Russian, 1 Brazilian, 1 German, 1 Australian and 1 from the UK. It's a good, interesting group. Our host / tour coordinator, Sambo, is from Cambodia.
Sambo has quite a story too. He's 44 now, was 6 during the war and lost his mom to starvation during the war years. He has had a tough life but has been determined to make his way, and he's worked hard to reach where he's at now. I'm so glad I read 'Under the Banyan Tree' before our trip so I have some insight into what he went through as a child. All Khmer people (Cambodians) were touched by the nightmare of this recent war, and yet through it all, they always greet you with a smile, a namaste bow, and a cheery demeanour. Incredible resilience!!