A peek at the Phrachan Amulet Market
I stare into the red crystal eyes of a small charm. I feel attracted to this strange little object and I am considering to buy it, but then again what do I bring into my house when I purchase this object? Scenes of horror movies run through my head. Will I be cursed or blessed? will I get rich or poor?
I got sucked into a dense network of talisman shops and now I am surrounded by small figures of smiling Buddhas, strange amulets with prints of old monks, charms with exaggerated body parts and lucky teeth in dentures. What fate will these object bring me? I do not know, but I am here to find out.
A peek at the Amulet Market
This article provides a peek at the Amulet Bazaar in Bangkok. There are many interesting markets in the capital city of Thailand but this bazaar surely is one of the strangest among them. At the various stalls you can buy talismans, charms and small statues. Many Thai people collect or carry these objects. Especially taxi drivers, collectors, monks and people with dangerous jobs are frequent buyers of these products.
Assuming that you will come from the center of Bangkok you can take the BTS SkyTrain to Saphan Taksin station. From there you can take the Chao Phraya Express Boat. Get of at the Tha Chang pier. From there it is only a 5 minute walk to the Phrachan Market.
The Phrachan Market is situated at the streets between the Grand Palace and Thammasat university. You find the vendors at Th Maha Rat and Th Phra Chan. Next to Th Phra Chan you will find a covered section which also houses a large variety of vendor shops.
What to see
At the bazaar you find a huge amount of charms and talismans. People are also selling dentures and various statues. The products show figures from Buddhist, Animism and Hinduism faiths. Some of the products have low prices an and others are extremely pricey, especially if they are authentic and when they portrait important monks. You will also find food stalls and shops which sell other products like clothes, books or traditional herbal medicines.
Meaning of the amulets
The amulets and charms serve various purposes. For example you can buy charms that keep your mother-in-law away or talismans who will protect you. There are also charms with red crystal eyes. You buy them to attract potential lovers. They are called Phra Ngang. Most of the talismans and charms are coming from temples in places like Ayutthaya, Sukhothai and Lopburi.
The dentures are also coming from temples in Thailand. They are made from the teeth of dead people. People buy them if they need new teeth. They also provide luck to those who purchase them, because they where taken from religious spots. That is why people think that the teeth are blessed.
Why you should visit this sight
The Phrachan Bazaar seems the place to be when you want to start your own temple. The bazaar is suitable for visits during daytime as large parts are covered with a roof. It is an excellent place for buying authentic souvenirs and a must see for collectors and lovers of religious objects.
Did you ever visited the Amulet Market and do you believe in charms and talismans? Share your experiences and opinions in the comments section below.
- Go Historic: The Go Historic website provides lots of info about the Amulet Market. Information options are for example photos, related books and a map
- Talismans at Tha Phrachan Amulet Market: This link will bring you to a very informative photo essay of availble talismans. The essay explains the meaning of nine amulets.
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