Photo: Phra Chan covered market.

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Phra Chan amulet market

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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.

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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 ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 300 words.)

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