Top 10 Most Unusual Sights in Bangkok

Strange, Weird and Wacky Places in Bangkok

A city rich with contrasts, contradictions and juxtapositions, Bangkok is fertile breeding ground for the strangely beautiful and beautifully strange. Some of these unusual sights, like blind street singers/musicians, baby elephants and fortune tellers, you encounter before you even start looking. Other oddities take a little longer to discover, but are all the more rewarding for it. Explanations for them are deemed unnecessary.

Therefore, instead of pondering what created the weird and wacky places that made it onto our Top 10 of Bangkok’s Unusual Sights, just get out there and enjoy them (and if you are wondering, the shark is part of a display for Siam Ocean World; it didn't make it to the Top 10, but it sure does catch the attention!)


1
Phallic Shrine Chidlom - Ploenchit

At the Goddess Tubtim Shrine hundreds of oversized phalluses of all shapes and sizes stand tall, proud, and dare we say, erect – proof that even in the spirit world size really does matter! Found in the grounds of the Swissotel Nai Lert Park Hotel, people flock here to find fertility.  Read More...

2
Erawan Museum Samut Prakan

A huge, three-headed elephant statue standing upon an equally gargantuan pedestal is the first, and last, thing you see when visiting Samut Prakan's Erawan Museum. It's a splendid, towering beast: 250 tons in weight, 29 metres high, 39 metres long, and cast in pure, green-hued copper. Read More...

3
Robot Building Sathorn

First opened in 1986, the 'robot building' is located on South Sathorn Road. According to the architect, the original inspiration for the 20-storey building came from his son's toy robot. Complete with 'eyes' and 'antennae', the building's quirky characteristics masks the fact that the elements of the exterior design serve real purposes. For instance, the oversized 'bolts' and 'caterpillar wheels' act as sunshades and canopies.

 

4
David Beckham Temple
David Beckham Temple (Wat Pariwat) Riverside - Rama III Road

Wat Pariwat has been nicknamed 'David Beckham Temple' for a very unusual reason. In the back corner of the large altar of this very large but anonymous looking temple, a Garuda, one of those mythic winged creatures, has been replaced by... David Beckham! Executed by a fan with the agreement of the abbot in 1998, the statuette is only 30 cm high  and the haircut on the carving is not quite the one we know... but you can clearly read 'Sharp', the team sponsor on the T-shirt.

5
Forensic Museum Riverside

Corpses of mass murdering cannibals, glass jars containing deformed babies and gruesome autopsy photographs are all preserved for posterity in Bangkok’s very own hall of horrors. Not for the faint-hearted! Read More...

6
Bangkok Elephant Building
Elephant Building Chatuchak

An elephantine landmark in the Chatuchak district, the Elephant Tower is one of the most unique buildings in Bangkok. The three towers (A, B, and C) make up a shape of Thailand's national animal, which can be seen even from the Expressway. On the right edge of the building you can also see an eye and tusk. The building is used as a condominium, office space, and also houses a language school.

7
Dragon Tower at Wat Samphran
Giant Dragon Tower at Wat Samphran Between Bangkok and Nakhon Pathom

Located well outside Bangkok, this unusual temple is worth mentioning with its giant dragon coiled around the red 17-storey tower. The head of the giant dragon is clearly visible from from a distance, but the temple is located near the highway and most people don't take much time to look around. The temple grounds are rich in decorations, statues of animals and more dragons. It's hard to spot, but it's worth it.

8
Bangrak Fire Station
Bangrak Fire Station Bangrak - Riverside

How many fire stations do you know are sheltered in a rundown heritage building? Located next to the famous Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 'Sunlaka Sathan' was a customs house built in 1888, then converted into a fire station. This is one of the many superb heritage buildings standing along the Chao Phraya riverbanks, but it was never repaired or maintained. But, despite its derelict condition, the majesty of this edifice is such that many wedding photographers use it as a background for their shots!

9
Sathorn Unique Ghost Skyscraper
'Sathorn Unique' 50-Storey Ghost Skyscraper End of Sathorn Road, by the river

'Sathorn Unique' is a 50-storey ghostly building. Abandoned since the 1997 economic crisis, this concrete monolith was supposed to become one of the most luxurious residences in Bangkok. You can't help but notice a strong resemblance with the nearby skyscraper 'State Tower' home of the very famous Sky Bar (you know, the one in the movie 'The Hangover II'), with its typical round balconies and Roman columns. The buiding is now part of everyday Bangkok life as it is used as a support for a gigantic advertising banner.

10
Giant Swing Old City (Rattanakosin)

The focal point of an ancient Brahmin ritual thanking the God Shiva for the rice harvest, participants here used to swing 80 feet into the air while attempting to grab a bag of silver with their teeth – that is, until King Rama VII banned the practice due to the many deaths! Read More...

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