What does the Golden Mountain mean to me?
I see the Golden Mountain Bankgok temple in a photograph, or in the distance when I drive on the streets of Bangkok, and my heart soars with memories of a life of adventure, discovery and freedom.
Our old home.
The Golden Mountain, or its more exotic name, Phu Khao Thong, greeted us every morning from the window of our school office bedroom.
I would often take my students for walks up to the top of the golden mount or we’d play Frisbee in the gardens below.
We had the honour and privilege of attending many Buddhist ceremonies in the grounds of the Wat Saket the adjoining temple, including the anointing of a very famous Thai pop singer into novice monkhood. Wat Saket is a Royal temple of Bangkok; we felt special teaching and living at the school connected to it.
We knew we could never get lost in Bangkok. All we had to do was say “Golden Mountain please” and were brought safely home.
Sometimes if we were late we would have to climb over the locked 9ft high school fence. We’d wake the night guard with our giggles mid-leg throw over. He jump from his wooden bench bed, shake his head when he saw it was just as crazy falangs and laugh.
The Golden Mountain faithfully steered us home after nights spent on Khao San Road getting our Western fix and street meals of 10 baht Pad Thai.
My colleague and friend Jintina would sit with me in her small office and we’d talk in jilted English. Her laughter always framed by the Golden Mountain sitting outside her window.
Oh, how I miss that Golden Mountain and those days.
You don’t realize the depths your memories will be when you are making them.
We didn’t understand how much that Bangkok temple, the Golden Mountain was affecting our lives and changing us.
At the time we thought our life was filled with the problems of adjustment and culture shock. The anguish associated with this was far too present.
Now in the future, I don’t remember those problems and negative emotions, I only remember what was so great.
Don’t focus on the bad in your life, it will always be there; it is meaningless and unmemorable. The problems of adjustment will mean nothing to you years later.
All that will matter is the joy you didn’t even realize you were having – focus only on experiencing this in the present moment.
We get frustrated with the challenges of travel that seem to be so present.
They overshadow that which is really good. And that which is really good is always there, we just have to choose to focus on it.
Video: The Golden Mountain, Bangkok
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Is there a place in your travels that, at the time seemed fraught with challenges, but now when you look back you realize how memorable and magical it really was?
14 thoughts on “The Golden Mountain Bangkok temple brings golden memories”
Sounds like some great memories! I’d never heard of that area of Bangkok until now.
Those sound like beautiful memories associated with the Golden Mountain. 🙂 I wonder what icon will remind me of my time in Korea once I’m done teaching here.
There’ll probably be a lot that will trigger so many memories for you. Enjoy every second of it, it comes and goes way too fast.
I love how memories work like that, how your mind focuses on the good stuff more than the bad stuff. Sounds like you made some wonderful memories there!
We really do. I miss it a lot actually! It’s always nice to go back and visit as it feels like home
Certainly, it’s the good memories that stick with me the most. Sounds like you had a really great time there 🙂
Nice it seems you have very good memories and i like the picture wth the local! They all have the same haircut it’s so funny!
They do too! Never really noticed that before- or maybe I did but it all just kind of blended in and I forgot
I can definately relate! I went to Africa by myself just after my 18th birthday and when I was in Kenya I had run out of money. It was Waitangi day in New Zealand so my mum couldn’t even give me money, so I stayed with a Kenyan I had met.. We were staying in a local community of wee shacks that was surrounded by naughty baboons. We both only had enough money for a little rice and beans. I was sitting in the room by myself and the big papa baboon came in, looked at me, and then ran off with the only food we had. At the time I couldn’t think of anything worse than being hungry and homeless but I look back now and just go aaaah everything worked out.. Hakuna Matata!!
Great story!!! Love it. I couldn’t imagine having a baboon run into the room like that.
Great memories! I feel the same way about Cuzco, Peru. It was one of the last stops before heading home after a long trip and the chaotic annoyances really overwhelmed me, with everyone you meet trying to sell you a trip to Machu Picchu. I love the food and culture of the indigenous people there, so thinking back on it I regret not giving the place more of a chance. I know now I needed more time there to really appreciate it, not less!
It’s so hard to get past the annoyances of the present and see what a place is really like. Its easy to see it once those pestering things are out of our face!
Interesting to read about Golden Mount. It is one of my favorite places in BKK. I was there 3 times in 2010 and each time visited the Golden Mount. I felt strange comfort and calmness being up there, watching the city around. And even in the heat there was always refreshing breeze inside.
Will be there in 3 month again. Looking forward to.
It is like a little Bangkok oasis!