26 Nov 2018 – We were approached outside Pratunam Mall. A man told us that day is a special day in Thailand: Everyone heads to the temples to pray for their wishes to come true. That man, wearing a photo badge, claimed to be the traffic controller for the Princess motorcade passing through the road junction that morning.
“Traffic controller” recommended that we visit a temple that is only open this day, once a year. What’s more, for that day only, there’s a special offer by the Thailand tourism board we must take advantage of: a two-way ride by tuktuk for 60 baht only.
When we arrived at the temple, a young man greeted us and taught us how to pray. He then directed us to the other side of the temple to pray to the Buddha. There, we met a well-dressed man who claimed to be John Kwek, cousin of Kwek Leng Beng, Singapore’s billionaire businessman. He said he is leading the Hong Leong Group’s operations outside Singapore and Malaysia.
“John Kwek” was very kind to tell us about the temple history, his life story and how he recovered from disease with the help of the red orange sapphire gem he’s wearing. He recommended that we get the same gem before the end of day in order for it to absorb the positive energy. If we miss this, we have to wait for the same day next year. “John Kwek” was very convincing with the photos and videos in his tablet.
After leaving the temple, without any instruction, our tuktuk driver brought us to a local gem store. “Tuktuk driver” insisted that we enter the shop to have a look. My family of 7, with 2 seniors and 2 children in tow, quickly walked through the shop and bought nothing. To much displeasure of “Tuktuk driver”, we demanded to return to Pratunam Mall.
We are fortunate not to lose any money, except our precious time. From this experience, we would like to urge all to be extra careful in tourist areas because that’s usually where con-men prey on unsuspecting foreign visitors.