THE AMULET MARKET : FIND A LUCKY CHARM

When the amulet market in Bangkok is mentioned, everyone thinks about the one near the Wat Mahathat, which is actually the biggest. But there are few others worth visiting, especially if you want to enjoy a genuine local atmosphere and lack of tourists and cameras.

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Thai people are predominantly Buddhists and they love to look for the right amulet or talisman.

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For every ill, there is an amulet.  An amulet bears the visage of one of many famous monks. He may be alive or dead, and the amulet is usually in the form of a minuscule portrait.

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If the amulet was made by a monk the price varies according to the monk’s stature.  As low as $1 for a starter monk and a few thousand dollars for a “revered monk.”.

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If the amulet has a history of protection, say someone survived a car crash or dodged a bullet while in possession of said amulet, the value will increase.

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There’s an amulet for any specific need: some will protect from bad luck, some from dangers and some others will bring wealth or good health.

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Thai people pay money for these objects but they don’t like to talk about “buying” amulets. It’s rather a “hire”.

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Talismans, include every other holy symbol, primarily Buddhas, monkeys, buffaloes, elephants and phalluses.

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Even Buddhist monks take their time during weekends to explore the various amulet markets of the city.

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There can a friendly rivalry between the vendors of amulets and talismans. The amulet sellers pride themselves on their faith and sense of history. The talisman vendors are perhaps more pragmatic. According to some, amulets “only protect good people, but talisman will protect both good and bad.”

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