Photo: Phra Chan covered market.

Bangkok is so big, we’ve split it up into areas, select one of the below for detailed accommodation and food listings in that area. Sights and general overviews for Bangkok as a whole can be found via the icons above. Don’t know where to start? Read an overview of Bangkok’s different areas.


Phra Chan amulet market

Our rating:

While moseying from the Grand Palace to the National Museum, many travellers are inadvertently swept into the bustling Talad Phra Chan, a century-old market specialising in Buddhist and Hindu amulets, statuary and other sacred knick-knacks.





If coming from Maharat Road, the market begins with a lane covered by a plexiglass awning and buttressed on either side by heritage shophouses. A few cats lounge on the worn tile floor as old women sell trays of curry and bowls of noodles, and men in black slacks and collared shirts scope amulets through magnifying glasses.

Treat your amulet well—or it might put a curse on you. Photo taken in or around Phra Chan amulet market, Bangkok, Thailand by David Luekens.

Treat your amulet well—or it might put a curse on you. Photo: David Luekens

Wade deeper to find dozens of stalls stuffed with statues of Buddha, various bodhisattvas and Hindu deities, wax figurines of supposedly enlightened Thai monks, thousands of amulets, antique swords and “magic” talismans. A few shops will even whip you up a two-metre-tall image of Buddha or Ganesha right in their homely studios. (Just keep in mind that it’s technically illegal to take any Buddha image outside of Thailand without government permission.)

Known as krueang rang in Thai, amulets of Buddha, famous monks and Thai kings are collected in Thailand with a fervour that’s hard for foreigners to comprehend. Dozens of Thai amulet magazines tell stories of amulets endowed with the power to ward off evil spirits, levitate or become impervious to bullets. While some Thais are positively obsessed with krueang rang, most keep one simply as a good-luck charm.

Many of the shoppers are monks. Photo taken in or around Phra Chan amulet market, Bangkok, Thailand by David Luekens.

Many of the shoppers are monks. Photo: David Luekens

Many Thais wear an amulet (or five) around their neck or hang them from their rear-view mirror in a superstitious bid for protection on the kingdom’s notoriously treacherous roads. Amulets believed to wield the most potent powers are molded from, for example, bits of earth from the Buddha’s enlightenment site in India, hairs of former Thai kings or robes worn by famous Thai monks. A rare amulet can fetch many millions of baht, though the majority sold at Phra Chan are mass-produced and go for 100 ... please log in to read the rest of this story.


Don’t miss the boat!

Please subscribe to Travelfish.org to read the rest of this article, or log in here.


Subscribing to Travelfish costs A$35 per year and it gets you access to more than 200 downloadable guides to specific destinations, fabulous discount coupons and 50% off our personalised travel planning service. Sign up here.


By





How to get there
From Tha Maharaj river ferry pier, walk north past the name-brand shops and look for a riverside alley that leads to the amulet stalls. From the Grand Palace, walk north up Maharat Rd for 300 m and look for the narrow lanes cutting west into the market. Tha Phra Chan Pier, which borders the market to the north, can be reached by a cross-river ferry from Wang Lang Pier.

Phra Chan amulet market
Between the Chao Phraya River and Maharat Rd, just west of Wat Mahathat
Mo–Su: Early morning to late afternoon
Admission: Free

Location map for Phra Chan amulet market

Book a flight, train, bus, taxi or ferry in Thailand with 12Go Asia
From:
To:     


Start planning your holiday today

Sent every Monday, our newsletter is full of travel advice, news & special deals. Read past issues.

   

Popular attractions in Bangkok

A selection of some of our favourite sights and activities around Bangkok.



Best places to stay in Bangkok

A selection of some of our favourite places to stay in Bangkok.


What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Bangkok.
 Check prices, availability & reviews on Agoda or Booking
 Check out our listings of things to do in and around Bangkok.
 Read up on how to get to Bangkok, or book your transport online with 12Go Asia.
 Do you have travel insurance yet? If not, find out why you need it.
 Planning on riding a scooter in Bangkok? Please read this.
 Buy a SIM card for Thailand—pick it up at the airport when you arrive.
 Browse the web securely while travelling with TunnelBear. Try with a 7–day free trial.


See below for more sights and activities in Bangkok that are listed on Travelfish.org.


Top of page


Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Bangkok? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Thailand.


Top of page