Bangkok’s Amulet Market
Join me this Travel Photo Thursday (week 207) as we enjoy the Bangkok’s Amulet Market and all that it has to offer. Few tourists leave “The City of Angels” (aka Bangkok) without spending at least a few hours in the “Old City.” If you’re checking out a map, you may not find “Old City.” Instead, look for the area called Rattanakosin located close to the Chayo Phraya River. Here you’ll find the Grand Palace, Wat Pho (famous for its Emerald Buddha, numerous other temples, and a few museums. I’ve visited this area several times over the years, and have taken in the sights. This week I visited again with a different destination in mind, and that was the Amulet Market. Although the market lies only steps away from the Grand Palace and Wat Pho, many visitors never give it a second glance.
You’ll see evidence of Bangkok’s Amulet Market as soon as you turn onto Maharat Road. The easiest way to get to here is to take the BTS to Saphan Taksin, then head to the Central Pier (2-minute walk and loads of signs). Hop a boat to Tha Chang Pier, and, once there, walk through the outdoor market. If you’re like me, you might have to stop for fried bananas for some added energy! Turn left at the first street (Maharat Road), and you’ll immediately see evidence of the market on the sidewalk. On the left-hand side of the road are the amulet sellers. On the right-hand side, you’ll find a plethora of traditional medicines on offer.
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The stalls are basic with a table or two, and some stools. Some merchants even display their wares at ground level.
Bangkok’s Amulet Market
You’ll find amulets of every shape and size. Prices start at 20 Baht and purchased for any type of protection, from general good luck to financial prosperity. Let your imagination run wild!
Some of the faithful want their amulets housed in custom-made Amulet holders. This artist was busy at work carving a beautiful holder from sterling silver. He was happy to pose for me.
You will notice a lot of (mostly men) examining the amulets with magnifying loupes. I have no idea what they are looking for, and how they decide if a particular charm has value or not. However, it looks like serious business!
Amulets were hanging from trees.
This artist makes gorgeous necklaces designed for holding an amulet or amulets. I bought one (100baht), and, if I want, I can hang three charms from my necklace. However, I must confess, with all the choice it was impossible to decide what protection I may need. 🙂
Bangkok’s Amulet Market extends beyond the main road. Be sure to wander down the smaller streets. You’ll not only find more amulets but shops producing and selling statues (mostly Buddha). Be careful taking photos around these particular shopkeepers. I was chased off for taking this shot.
Then when you think that the market has ended, you’ll find that there is a huge market building that extends to the river. Here you will find, of course, more amulets, plus other jewelry and souvenir type items. If you’re in the market for small Buddha statues, this is the place.
The shop owners here are very friendly and were happy to pose in their rabbit ears.
And finally, for something entirely different; how about a new set of dentures!
The market is open daily, beginning around 9 am and closing up around 5 pm. Sunday is the busiest day. I was there on a Monday, and it was plenty busy for me.
Be prepared to spend a few hours wondering around. The area is changing. About a block inside the market you’ll find a new shopping complex. Starbucks has the prime spot, where you can sip your coffee near the water. Be sure to use the facilities here. You’ll find fantastic restrooms with toilet paper and soap!
When you’ve finished your amulet shopping, you can cross the street and check out the traditional medicines on offer. You can even take a break from the hustle and bustle at the temple. That’s a post for another day.
Have you been to Bangkok’s Amulet Market? Did you buy some protection?
This is the 207th edition of Travel Photo Thursday. You can browse the archives here.
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