5 Unusual Sites of Bangkok

  • Posted onFebruary 11th, 2013

5 Unusual Sites of Bangkok

elephant-buildingBangkok is an amazing city, home to both the ancient and contemporary Asia, the old and the new, the weird and the wonderful. With no shortage of traditional site seeing, modern attractions, and some of the best shopping in the world, Bangkok offers a busy itinerary to all tourists and visitors. However, for those bored of the same old same old, looking for something a little different, here’s 5 bizarre sites you will find in the big mango:

The Erawan Statue

erawan-museumIt’s pretty hard to miss this huge, three-headed elephant statue when passing through or by the Samut Prakan Province of Bangkok. The large, mesmerizing, and somewhat eerie statue marks the entrance of Erawan Museum, a 3-storey building exhibiting a collection priceless antiques and religious objects. The statue stands at 29 metres high, 39 metres long, and weighs a whopping 50 tons. Cast in green-hued copper, it took almost ten years to complete. Built to replica the ancient Hindu icon of Airavata (also known as Erawan), this is one memorable Bangkok site that will stick with you for some time.

 

Visit the Erawan Museum Bangkok

David Beckham Temple

david-beckham-temple-bangkokWhile premier league football has been a massive hit in Thailand, there’s only one soccer star that can claim to have a Buddhist temple nicknamed after him. Wat Pariwat, now also known as ‘David Beckham Temple’, got its strange name from the actions of an obsessed local fan. After getting approval from the local head monk, a football fan built a 30cm David Beckham statuette which was brought in to replace a Garuda (a mythical winged creature) statue, in the temple. The odd Beckham image can be found in the back corner of the main altar of the temple, amongst a wall of religeous memorobilia.

Chang Building (Elephant Towers)

Voted number 4 in CNNGO’s list of the world most iconic skyscrapers, the Chang Building (also known as Elephant Towers), casts a stunning figure on the city skyline. Modelled on the national animal, this inventive building was constructed in the shape of a huge elephant, albeit a heavily pixelated one. Without doubt the most unique looking building in Bangkok, the Chang Building can be found in the Chatuchak district where it is used as a condominium, a shopping plaza, a recreational ground, and office space.

The Phallic Shrine

phallic-shrineThis has to be Bangkok’s most memorable shine, made up of literally hundreds of penis statues made of wood and stone, the Phallic Shrine pays honour to Chao Mae Tubtim, the spirit of female fertility. With some of the penises as large as 10 feet tall, donning ribbons and other decoration, woman pay visit to the shrine  in all seriousness, to leave offerings in hopeful exchange for fertility. The amount of penises on show is said to give evidence to the success rate of visiting females; women who visit the shrine and then find fertility must return to place a new phallic figure in the shrine. This interesting shrine can be found on the site of the Swissotel Nai Lert, though little is known about its origins.

The Ghost Tower

bangkok-ghost-towerIn 1997, at the height of an economical crisis, this 50-storey building in Sathorn was abandoned mid construction. It was gaining some reputation and buzz at the time, with claims that it would become the most stylish and luxurious address in Bangkok. With a somewhat Romanic look, including lots of large, self-indulgent columns, the building has since stood unoccupied, by humans at least. While it may not be haunted, so to speak, it does cast a somewhat eerie on the otherwise slick Sathorn skyline, acting as a haunting reminder of the reckless investments and poorly managed debts of the late 90’s Asian financial crisis.

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