Today we went on a tour of the Six Banyan Temple, a Buddhist temple that has been in the same spot for hundreds of years. It has a 300 year old 9-story pagoda that, until modern times, had been the tallest building for miles around. Elvin told us that at the top of the pagoda, a torch would have been lit at night, so that everyone for miles around could follow the torchlight to the temple for food or shelter, or whatever help they needed. The temple even has its own hotel, for pilgrims who come from far away to pray there!
We saw the past, present, and future Buddhas, a shrine to Kwan Yin (who is said to help bring children to families...), and others. We received a blessing from a very kind monk, who chanted and played a small drum, and poured holy water on our heads. He was very patient with Jack and I - we had to stand in the back because when I tried to kneel with the others, Jack screamed!
We ate lunch at a wonderful Thai restaurant up the street from Lucy’s - it was all outside, under canopies. We had pork, chicken satay, pineapple fried rice, the ever-present boiled peanuts, and hot tea. 7-up for the kids!
After 5 that evening, Elvin called our room and told us that Jack’s visa and other paperwork were ready to go, so I went down to pick them up.
That evening we packed up our bags for the trip home!