There are many kinds of shrines dotted around Bangkok. Probably the most famous is the Erawan Shrine near Central World Plaza. Most of these shrines are visited frquently by thousands of tourists from around the world. The other day, I ventured off the beaten track just a little to visit a more quirky shrine behind the Nai Lert Park Hotel (formerly The Hilton). This is the Chao Mae Tuptim Shrine. This was originally built by Nai Lert himself for the spirit that he believed resided in the Ficus tree. The traditionally offerings for this shrine are white jasmine flowers, incense sticks and both pink and white lotus flowers.
However, if you look closely at some of the offerings on display in these pictures, you will see that some of the worshippers have gone horribly astray. If you decide to venture to this shrine, you will experience what can only be described as a walk through a forest of giant penises. The proper term of course is a phallus shrine. However, let’s not beat around the bush. They are what they are. The story goes that a woman came to this shrine with a wish to become pregnant. Apparently her wish came true and after the baby was born she returned with an offering of an oversized penis for the shrine. News apparently soon spread about the fertility shrine and many people started to come with their own offerings of giant penises.
Access to the shrine is only through the hotel these days. For obvious reasons they are not too happy about this unusual tourist attraction on their door step and have tried several steps to stop non-guests visiting the shrine. However, as far as I understand, the park doesn’t belong to them and they should allow people access. Guidebooks give you a complicated route from Wireless Road and through the front gate of the hotel. However, I found the back entrance to be far less complicated. I started from the Chitlom Sky Train station. I exited into Central Chitlom department store and went down to the ground floor. Outside the building I turned left. Just past their outside car park I turned left down the small Soi Somkid. Towards the end of this soi I turned right into the back entrance for the hotel. Jut walk in like you own the place and the security guards won’t bother you. The very small park and the shrine is in the far left corner up against the Sansap Canal.
As usual, I have marked this location on our ThailandPhotoMap.com website. I have also marked