Join me on my RTW Travels and Win a Buddhist Talisman

Contest! Guess the Weight of My Backpack and Win a Magic Amulet

47 comments

One of the first places I intend to visit in Bangkok is the Buddhist Amulet Market by the Chao Praya River. The Thai people seriously love their amulets and wear them constantly for protection or blessings of all kinds. They love them so much, in fact, that it has become a multi-million dollar business — some financial research groups estimate sales over $500 million US per year. Providing a handsome income for temples, the amulet business has even lead to crime sprees when specific amulets became a mega-hit.

At the market, you can find amulets to fit any budget, from 10 baht to 1,000,000 baht — you can probably guess which end of that scale I’ll be looking at.

Crafted by monks at various temples across the country, many talismans include ashes from burned sacred texts or temple incense, dust from holy places, or even dirt from sacred graveyards. These ingredients increase the magical power and give extra protection to the wearer. The talismans are then prayed over intensely by the monks and further imbued with sacred power through rituals, in a a modern mix of Buddhism and pre-Buddhist shamanism.

Got a rash on your wedding tackle? A stalker on Facebook? There’s an amulet for that.

Best of  all, apparently there is an amulet for everything — they can can bring you good luck, true love, prosperity, protection from evil, invisibility, or relief from all kinds of problems and ailments. Got a rash on your wedding tackle? A stalker on Facebook? There’s an amulet for that.

Everyone who comes within a half-pound of the correct final weight will get a free magic amulet from Thailand, hand-picked to fit their request.

So here’s how the contest works: simply leave a comment below with your best guess at the final weight of my backpack when I leave for Thailand, and a note on what kind of amulet you want (crazy sex, luck in Vegas, fertility, etc). 2 days before I leave, my pack will be loaded and ritually weighed. Everyone who comes within a half-pound of the correct final weight will get a free magic amulet from Thailand, hand-picked to fit their request. I’ll scour the market top to bottom to find one that matches your needs, as best I can.

Winners will be contacted via email and asked to provide a snail mail address for shipping. Please know that I never share email addresses with anyone and I’m far too lazy to spam you. I’ll mail you the goods from Bangkok, but I have no idea how long it will take to reach you. I also can’t guarantee that it will survive the journey, but I’ll do my best to pack it securely.

For those wanting to be all scientific about this, here is my packing list. Go ahead and laugh — I deserve it.

Last day to enter: February 24th, 2010.
Thanks for reading this far and good luck!

{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

Anna Scandalis January 29, 2010 at 3:04 am

Alrighty then. I’m gonna be the first to stab at this. According to my scientific analysis and acute observational skills, I’m going to say your pack will weigh a nice, hefty 53.51 lbs.

I would like an amulet for warding off evil lawyer spirits.

Good luck and God speed, Man! (said in my best Reimer voice)

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Joel January 29, 2010 at 1:38 pm

Your pack will weigh about 49.04 lbs , I love to have a amulet for “no fear ” thanks

Joel

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John January 29, 2010 at 3:02 pm

I think/hope you’re going to get a bit closer to your goal weight with this. Assuming both backpacks are included in this and the nalgene bottle is not full of water when weighed, I say 46 lb.

Amulet for protection from evil. +3 if they have it. ;)

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Jennifer Harrity January 29, 2010 at 3:08 pm

44.5 lbs…amulet for true love, because nothing else seems to be working.

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Duffy January 29, 2010 at 3:27 pm

It weighs a midget and a half. Now give me my prize, Jerk!

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polly January 29, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Factoring in your wardrobe and taking into account your proclivity toward pants-freeness, my guess is that your pack will weigh 50.4 lbs. That’s kinda heavy, so maybe you’d like to consider bringing me along to carry stuff. I’m real good at carrying stuff.
My amulet would help me in the compassion department.

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Jaloola January 29, 2010 at 3:48 pm

45.8 pounds Jerk.

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Cassie January 29, 2010 at 3:49 pm

47 lbs, Jerk! (everyone else was doing it…)

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wes January 29, 2010 at 3:50 pm

tough crowd in here. “Jerk” comments receive a .25# accuracy penalty ;)

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julie January 29, 2010 at 4:15 pm

22 kilos. Please keep an eye out for an amulet that will either prevent dust from settling in our house, or that will make our maid less lazy.

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Brooke January 29, 2010 at 4:43 pm

Three and one quarter stone imperial.

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Joe January 29, 2010 at 4:50 pm

Hmmm….drawing a blank on cleaver things to say so I’m just going to guess 3.3 stones. Wedged right in there between Jaloola and my wife. Cozy.

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Kiki January 29, 2010 at 8:48 pm

Xavi says 20 kilos. (Them french and their other fancy bread systems.) With pants I say 46.89lbs .. Without pants, I say 42.11 lbs.. And I want a friendly regular bowel amulet. Xavi wants an amulet that will protect him from crazy Los Angeles drivers.

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Julie January 29, 2010 at 9:17 pm

My guess is 45.5 pounds. I want an amulet that makes me invisible!

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Aunt Irene January 29, 2010 at 9:21 pm

65 pounds give or take a few ;)
Don’t need a stinking amulut….But don’t forget the rocks you promised…

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Laura January 29, 2010 at 10:13 pm

If you still are bringing a pair of hefty boots and every thing else you have listed (Which I kinda get the feeling you are the type that will bring it all no matter the weight.) Then lets go with a solid 65.5 pounds.
Could I get an amulet to make me more out going?

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Chris January 29, 2010 at 11:07 pm

I’m thinking around 48.25 lbs.

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wes January 30, 2010 at 10:02 pm

Yup, you nailed me on that, Laura. I will, indeed, bring it all — no matter how dumb an idea it may be ;)

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Francoise January 30, 2010 at 4:12 pm

Tough one, you’re toting some heavy gear, though, assuming you’ll have a daybag as well…

I say 27kg’s .
.-= Francoise´s last blog ..Airport Parking Made Easy with BCP Online Services =-.

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LisaB (LadyWanderlust) January 30, 2010 at 8:59 pm

An Austin girl anxiously waiting for you start your adventure so I can live vicariously through you. I am gonna guess, and by guessing, I am so pulling “stuff” out of the air…. 47.953 lbs.

amulet choice: peace and prosperity

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Christ Lockrem January 31, 2010 at 3:49 am

I’m thinking if you underpay for your porter you might be coming back with less weight. :

Seriously tho, I’m green with envy. Still, I wish you a grand adventure and look forward to the photos you send back.

My guess: 53.18 lbs
.-= Christ Lockrem´s last blog ..Cash for Clunkers =-.

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Tavia January 31, 2010 at 1:23 pm

I worked really hard at my cheating method. Even got done on hands and knees with a scale and a pile of clothes with boots all weighing in stuff and stuff and stuff…yea idk….sounding smart hurts…and trying to act smart hurt my knees even more :-/
OK….my final cheating guess is 64.6 lb
Cleverness / bravery please
p.s..if i win and find out that my amulet means pain i the ass…..well ok i’ll be proud to wear it.

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Roseann Nations Elizondo January 31, 2010 at 1:27 pm

Guess : 68.2 lb
amulet : Wealth
Good luck, safe travel

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Dave R February 1, 2010 at 4:19 pm

52.25

I would like a palindrome amulet please. heh.

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Lisa February 2, 2010 at 4:35 pm

Hmmm 54.25 lbs…..Hefty !!!!

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Chris R February 3, 2010 at 7:25 am

Well, since 42 is the answer for everything… I’ll go with 42.5

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Michael February 3, 2010 at 2:38 pm

the Amulet Market at Wat Mahathat? a great place for a stroll, we stopped by to try to find “good luck for journey” amulets while we waited for passage home after the Yellow Shirts seized Swampy Airport, extending our vacation by another week.
Not much English spoken by the vendors there, might be a good idea to have a Thai guide along to help find yr desired amulets. I scored a good luck Ganesha. We also picked up a pretty cool-looking Buddha pendant we were assured would give us good luck for our journey home. Indeed, our airline got us on a flight two days later and upgraded us to premium economy, but when we got home I asked the waiter at our favorite local Thai joint about the script on it–he reported that it was a commemorative promotional thingy commissioned by a bank in Bangkok for a royal anniversary! not quite the magical amulet we thought…

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scott February 3, 2010 at 7:45 pm

59.21 pounds light :)

I’ll take my amulet for what else, lots of great travels!

be well…

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wes February 5, 2010 at 1:53 pm

Ha! Great amulet story, Michael. Thanks :)

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Nomadic Chick February 6, 2010 at 8:27 pm

I don’t want the amulet, but he looks like he’s doing the wave. It is Super Bowl weekend! :)
.-= Nomadic Chick´s last blog ..Gypsy Bits and Bytes =-.

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wes February 6, 2010 at 10:02 pm

da Buddha is hip to sports, ya know…

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Anne C February 11, 2010 at 4:22 pm

I’m going to guess 66.5lbs

and I want an amulet to make my milkshake bring all the boys to the yard!!

Have a safe trip!

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Donna Nations, Leister February 19, 2010 at 11:19 pm

By the time you leave I am sure you will think of a few more things, so I am guessing as is right now it is probably around 53 lbs but will end up being around 58.5 (LOL) The only thing that I want you to bring back is yourself and all the great pic’s. I do enjoy looking through them. They all have a story! You know Ansel Adams once said, ” There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer”. (Me being the viewer) Some of his photos are quite breathtaking. Anyway, You are always in my thoughts and in my prayers. I hope you enjoy your trip and create many lasting memories……..God Bless

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wes February 20, 2010 at 3:47 pm

Awww, thanks cuz! Keep your eyes peeled for a postcard or two.

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Donna Nations, Leister February 22, 2010 at 3:00 pm

Will do!! Love Ya

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Wil Leary February 22, 2010 at 2:40 am

i’m going to guess 50.5 pounds. I’ll take a true love or good health amulet.

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Mike from the Irie Bean March 1, 2010 at 9:22 am

Wes – I advise you to get an amulet to protect you from fighting monkeys. But since my advice is to follow nobody’s advice, don’t follow my advice. Get whatever amulet you want.

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wes March 1, 2010 at 2:07 pm

i like the way you think, Mike!

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Mike from the Irie Bean March 1, 2010 at 9:25 am

According to my Zen calculations, your backpack will weigh: 54.5 lbs.

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alex March 16, 2010 at 4:10 am

44 lbs i want amulet for prosrerity thanks

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Liam Oei January 26, 2011 at 7:42 am

My guess is 27.8 kg, i wish for a wealth and protection amulet. thanks.

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carmen March 23, 2011 at 3:00 am

i wish lucky winner million dollar
carmen nicholson

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Adolfo April 26, 2011 at 2:01 am

Factoring in your wardrobe and taking into account your proclivity toward pants-freeness, my guess is that your pack will weigh 50.4 lbs. That’s kinda heavy, so maybe you’d like to consider bringing me along to carry stuff. I’m real good at carrying stuff.
My amulet would help me in the compassion department.

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Club Shares May 12, 2011 at 3:00 pm

51.2 lbs? that’s my best guess, and yes i laughed at your packing list.

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Jannell May 17, 2011 at 8:06 pm

So, . . . . how heavy was your backpack?

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Noticias Tecnologia June 5, 2011 at 9:01 am

Yea, you didn’t tell us how heavy was your backpack.
Noticias Tecnologia recently posted..Lo Que Veremos En El E3 2011My Profile

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Digitals2go June 11, 2011 at 6:52 am

I don’t want the amulet, but he looks like he’s doing the wave. It is Super Bowl weekend!
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