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A Morning Stroll to Tha Prachan Amulets Market

Waking up on a warm morning in Bangkok is just another day for a seasoned visitor to this Thai capital city.  Taking photographs of people, places, and cultures is my way of telling a story from the lens of my digital camera. That's what I've been doing all these years during a holiday break, photographing macro shots of amulets and talismans to the smallest tiny detail of marine life. Nothing is unassuming in a world of surprises.

The thought of going for a brisk walk to one of Bangkok's amulet market came into my mind this morning after a good night sleep.  Tha Prachan amulet market strikes my mind immensely and right at that moment I've decided to head toward the Chao Phraya riverside after a hefty breakfast.

It's nice to have a cool start by dropping into one of the many art-deco cafes that you can find in Bangkok. Nice tasty toasts, eggs and bacon, and a dose of traditional Thai coffee will make a great day ahead. Later in this article we will tell you why Bangkok is a foodie's heaven on earth.

Nothing beats the heavy Bangkok jam during the morning rush hour. Relax your mind and watch carefully every second how the events unfold itself. After all we're not rushing despite the chaotic traffic which is a common sight in Bangkok.  After a sumptuous breakfast at 9.00 am, it's time to head to Tha Prachan amulet market.

A bus ride.  This is the real city adventure. 

Hopping on to a local bus that will take us all the way to the Grand Palace or Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) is where we wanna go this morning.  This daily packed tourist attraction is a must visit for the first timer to Bangkok. But for today, we're going to Tha Prachan amulet market that is nearby to the Grand Palace.

Bangkok is a vibrant and colorful Buddhist city in the world.  Returning here many times over the years, Bangkok have never fail to amaze me with its culture, people, temples, Tuk-Tuk, laughter, camaraderie of friendship, just like there's no ending.

Walking pass Grand Palace at the background.

Amulets history in Thailand had spanned more than a few centuries old garnered from the tradition of donning amulets for courage and bravery in war. In today's modern context, amulets are worn not only for self-protection but also to show one's status in society with expensive top-of-the-rank amulets.  The very existence of amulet markets in Thailand is due to this belief system that hold high regards to these sacred holy objects worn on the neck or body.

Street Amulet Trader posing for my camera.  A friendly Thai native.  

(Video) Thai Amulet – a Documentary 

Friendly faces and smiles comes out naturally from the Thais. Wherever there're many tourists, you can also find many street vendors displaying an array of goods and products to sell. That's the way of life as street vendors in busy Bangkok.

Colorful street traders, colorful Bangkok.

Tha Prachan is the largest amulet market in Bangkok. This is a place you will certainly find something of interest. Shops selling amulet accessories, amulet cases, magnifying glasses, books, box displays, necklaces, etc. are irresistible to any amulet enthusiasts. Despite coming here on many occasions, this market never stay the same. It evolves accordingly with current amulets trending, latest necklace design, improved accessories, etc.

There is nothing that you can't find here at Tha Prachan. This is one of the most comprehensive amulet market in Thailand for bargain prices and a wide selection of amulet accessories. Your hunt will never go unsatisfied because there's just about everything that you will need as an amulet hobbyist collector.

If you're an amulet enthusiast very certainly you will return to this market again whenever you visit Bangkok in the future. It may sound like a prophecy and you will find truth in it if you keep coming back here in your future visit.  There is just simply too many things to see, buy and do here at Tha Prachan amulet market.

There're many shops selling a fantastic array of mostly Buddhist amulets, Siamese charms, talismans, and traditional medicine. Each amulet brings a specific kind of luck — to gain authority power, to get the girl next door, to pass your exams, to get a job promotion, to ward off evils, or to ward off your mother-in-law. That is what make this market so unique with many faithful holding their magnifying glasses studying the tiny Buddha images hoping to find one that will bring them good fortune.

If you haven't been to this amulet market before, simply strolling along the narrow alley is a wonderful experience provided you're not rushing for time.  At every corner you'll see vendors displaying their amulet related products.  Nevertheless, foreign tourists who have a sense of curiosity in Thailand's holy amulets are also here with their cameras to experience this occult amulet's culture.

Amulet casing (non-waterproof) of many shapes and sizes

Since arriving here this morning I've seen the usual faces of amulet enthusiasts who're mostly locals. There're so many activities happening here on every single day.  There has never been a quiet day here at Tha Prachan.  But today I am the only tourist here on a photography tour working for SimplyBuy's article story.

Navigating through the narrow street and alleys with a camera to take photography of the lively essence in this market is the aim of this trip. Nope, not just photographing.  I'm gonna video it as well here.  This will give readers a feel of the market ambiance.

Some of the stuffs on display at Tha Prachan can look pretty real just like it ages. But be careful and don't let these 'aged amulets' fool your eyes thinking that they're really old masterpiece.

Video - Inside Tha Prachan  

Video - Inside Tha Prachan 2

This amulet market tour will never be complete if you never pay a visit to the restaurant cafe by the river bank. Located inside Tha Prachan dizzying amulet section, here you can certainly enjoy sipping a cup of Thai coffee while sampling local-style eateries serving inexpensive Thai dishes with a wonderful open-air Chao Phraya river view.

If you're thinking about Venice of The Orient, you can cross over to the opposite side of the river from the pier. You can explore further inland on the other side of the river where Wat Arun and Wat Rakang is located near the river bank.

You can also find plenty of Thai amulet magazines about a specific type of amulets that are impervious to bullets, talismans with other mystical powers, or monks. To the amulet connoisseurs, these magazines are useful compendium of knowledge.

Ideally speaking, most Thais are happy to accept that an amulet might bring good luck simply because it was blessed by a monk. But here in Tha Prachan, you need expert knowledge to select a genuine piece of amulet. Otherwise, you will be dealing with many replicas and copy version of the authentic amulet.

Kelantanese amulet collectors must be familiar with Mai Kru.

Video - Inside Tha Prachan 3

Kelantan Bangsek's collectors must have come across this amulet type.

Stalls after stalls offering amulets of various shapes and sizes, the humid weather does not perturbed any amulet collectors to hunt for hidden treasures here.  Like I've said earlier, most of the amulets at Tha Phrachan market were mass-produced in factories and are sold for under 100 baht a piece, making this as a good "Thai souvenir". If you're going for an advance amulet collector's course, this is a good training ground for you.

To sum it up, you will never know whether a piece of 10 Million THB amulet could randomly show up in a pile of amulets on a makeshift stall in one of the alley.

Amulet wrapping services is the next best thing you can get here. Waterproof plastic wrapping is the best solution to protect your favorite piece of amulet against damaged when wearing. Inexpensive plastic wrap for your prized amulet will make them always protected against elements such as bodily sweat and dust.

For easy understanding, a plastic waterproof wrapping is a transparent acrylic 'bubble-like' casing that prevents water from coming into contact with the amulet, and offers a 360 degree view of all sides of the amulet.

 To wrap a piece of amulet under the hand of a professional wrapper will take approximately 30 minutes. Superb quality workmanship is what we're seeking from these professional wrappers. 

Walking toward Tha Chang pier from the amulet market, a host of street vendors selling the usual freshly squeezed orange juice, fresh mangos, green mangos with spicy dipping sauce, grilled pork balls, and just about anything for you to munch your way around.

Most tourists will not give a miss to Wat Rakang which is directly opposite Tha Chang pier. You have to board a ferry to cross over to the other side. For this morning tour, we're simply delighted to just strolling the sidewalks and alleys around Tha Prachan.

A street vendor selling souvenirs. 

The afternoon heat is gradually picking up and this is the sign for me to end my morning stroll at Tha Prachan. It's really enjoyable watching all kinds of activities surrounding religious objects here.    

Tourists at nearby Grand Palace is still coming by the bus loads. Got to walking further away to find a right kind of transportation to take me back to the city center. There're several transport you can choose.

To the ladies if you're considering taking a Tuk-Tuk on a hot sunny day with all your make-ups on, you will swear never to ride a Tuk-Tuk again.  This is because when you got stuck in Bangkok's infamous traffic jam, an open-air Tuk-Tuk will give you a pleasant carbon dioxide aroma from taxis and other vehicles also stuck in that jam.

What about grabbing a cab that's easily available?  As a seasoned traveler, we always select the best choice of transportation to get to our destination. For that, I have the coolest way to blend in with the friendly Bangkokians.

For short distance it's fine to take a Tuk-Tuk. But always haggle the fare with these notorious, non-metered, three-wheeler's king of the road.  After all you got to get a taste of what it's really like to be in one of the most intriguing city on earth.

World's Best Street Foods in Bangkok
This caption is not a fable and we can attest to this statement with the variety of Bangkokian's street foods. World's best city street food can be found in Bangkok. If you're a foodie, you will be assured that your taste palette will be pampered fully.  The fact is most time when you walk past a street peddler you'll get the irresistible food aroma.

Video - Fresh Orange Juice Anyone? 

A visit to Bangkok will not be complete without sampling the array of street foods.Quenching your thirsts in a country with humid weather all year round with fresh fruits is a great low-calories idea. I wonder if the colorful display of fruits would attract your attention.

The stable food of Thais are really healthy and simple. They may be eaten raw and topped with hot spices with dipping chilly sauce. Yes, this is the Thai style freshly made mixed salad. Anybody want to try it? Prices start from 20 Baht onward.

Mixed salads, fruits, smoked fish, and a colorful variety of Thai staple food is available if you don't mind. Food bloggers will be fascinated with Bangkok's many tasty street foods. Street life can be pretty amusing at times and that's the way to keep life simple. If you are worried about cleanliness our tip is to choose busy places with a lot of customers because most likely the ingredients will be fresh.

It may be a humble cart on the road side, it could be a collection of stalls in a local market or even a traditional shophouse that has tables spilling out onto the pavement.  Vendors can be seen busily preparing their food, stir frying in an ancient wok, pounding papaya, grilling meat skewers or boiling noodles. Bangkok can provide diners with hours of culinary exploration. I'm very certain that your taste bud will go wild.

With many tasty street foods (not really sure if they're nutritious) and places of interest like Tha Pachan market lined with so many amulets, talismans and religious figurines, we have come to the end of this distinctive travel story.

After a long day out in a city that never sleeps, it's time to get onto the bed for a good night rest. This travel story will remain inspirational for years to come whenever you visit this fabulous Asian city. Whether you're shopping for clothes or amulet accessories, there is always ample choice of street menu for the foodies.

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