Bangkok Shrines and Spirit Houses

Bangkok Attractions

A stroll around Bangkok has many surprises in store. Despite being a modern, cosmopolitan metropolis with skyscrapers, a sophisticated Skytrain system and mega-malls that feed a consumerism culture like those of most big cities in the world, it's got its own very unique edge, like shrines and spirit houses. 

Common throughout Thailand, spirit houses can be found outside almost every house and building. The doll house-sized homes are set atop a pedestal and placed in an auspicious location, which allows residents, workers and others to offer prayers and small gifts to appease spirits, represented by doll-sized human figures, or perhaps a small figurine of Buddha.

Shrines, on the other hand, are places of worship where you'd go to pay respect to sacred religious icons in Buddhism (especially Brahma infleunces) and Hinduism, who in turn could grant you love, happiness, good fortune, success, luck or even fertility. 

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Shrines and Spirit Houses in Bangkok

Erawan Shrine

Erawan Shrine in Bangkok is Brahman, not strictly Buddhist. And yet, this famous shrine attracts more visitors than many of the city's temples. It was erected during the mid 1950s, after the Thai government had decided to build the luxury Erawan Hotel on this location. However, the first stages of the construction were beset with so Read More...

  • Opening Hours: 06:00-24:00
  • Location: In front of Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel, corner of Ploenchit and Ratchadamri Road
  • BTS: Chidlom
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Ganesha Shrine

Directly adjacent to Trimurti stands another important Hindu shrine, this time for Ganesha, the son of Shiva and Parvati. Ganesha is considered a master of intellect and wisdom, and visitors here seek to be blessed with artistic success and accomplishment. The deity is one of the more recognizable (at least for non-Hindus) because of his elephant Read More...

  • Opening Hours: 24 hours
  • Location: 999/9 Rajdamri Road, in front of CentralWorld
  • BTS: Chidlom
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Mae Nak Shrine

"Pii Maak khaaa," Mae Nak wailed, desperately calling and reaching out to Maak, her husband from a different realm. This is, perhaps, one of the most memorable lines in the history of Thai TV drama based on a well-known folk tale, 'Mae Nak Prakanong' (Mother Nak of Prakanong District). Most Thai love tales often end in Read More...

  • Location: Wat Maha But, On Nut, Sukhumvit 77
  • How to get there: Take the BTS to On Nut station. Maha But Temple is located about 900 metres down Sukhumvit Soi 77. The temple is at the end of Soi 7
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The Phallus Shrine

Literally hundreds of penises (phalluses) - from small wooden carvings to big stone sculptures that stand ten feet tall and decorated with ribbons - make this shrine quite unique. It honors Chao Mae Tubtim, a female fertility spirit. Women visit this shrine when they are trying to conceive, leaving offerings of lotus and jasmine. And if Read More...

  • Location: Grounds of the Swissotel Nai Lert Hotel, Chidlom-Ploenchit
  • BTS: Chitlom
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Spirit Houses

If you've been to Bangkok, you've seen them. They're everywhere! Beside houses, offices, schools, car dealerships, construction sites, trees, demolished buildings, malls and even high-rise office towers - very little that sits still and points up in Bangkok escapes the company of a cute little spirit house. If you've spent some time near one, you'll also Read More...

Trimurti Shrine

On Thursday evening at 21:30 is when lovelorn singles wearing red turn to Trimurti, the god of love, with offerings of red roses - all in the name of love, and in the hope that they will meet their eternal sweethearts. The shrine is a landmark in front of CentralWorld, and was recently slightly moved (at Read More...

  • Opening Hours: 24 hours
  • BTS: Chidlom or Siam
  • Address: 999/9 Rajdamri Road, in front of CentralWorld
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