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Think you know Bangkok? Think again. These quirky corners are well-worth seeking out.
Thailand’s capital has more than a few secrets up its sleeve and even those who think they know the city well will often find something surprising. The following places may not be on every tourist’s agenda, but they showcase seldom seen sides of this culturally complex metropolis.
Over the years, Thailand’s revered art of shadow puppetry has become increasingly difficult to witness first-hand. At this quirky abode decorated with a mix of modern and traditional sculptures, performances with elaborate puppets are staged almost every afternoon. Schedules tend to be erratic, so make sure you call in advance to confirm timing.
Though Sukhumvit, Silom and Sathorn are a flurry of activity, but one needn’t travel too far to escape to a green, laid-back oasis. Located 20 kilometres north of central Bangkok, this tiny island is home to villages where the local craftsmen are renowned for their clay pots. Hop a boat up the Chao Phraya River, disembark at Pak Kret pier, and rent a bicycle to cycle the island.
Police officers, gang members, taxi drivers, working girls and anyone in a high-risk profession, especially those on the wrong side of the law, stock up on protection at this unusual market. Though the tourist trinkets tend to be cheap, the amulets prized both by collectors and those who believe in their powers command lavish prices.
The intricate sak yant tattoos etched into the backs and shoulders of so many Thais are more than merely decorative; devout Buddhists believe these markings possess magical powers. Though they’re traditionally done with a bamboo needle at a temple, The Siam is the only hotel in the country that has a master of the art available.
Thais hoping to find their soulmate head to this famous shrine directly in front of the Central World shopping centre armed with nine red roses, nine red incense sticks and one red candle. After reciting a prayer, they leave these offerings in the hope that the shrine’s golden deity will bring them true love.