Thailand: Tourists and Buddhist Devotees Mingle at Downtown Temple

Travel Blogger Meet-up Part 11

While he stays at the Hansar Bangkok, Michael Taylor explores Downtown Bangkok. He stumbles across a Buddhist Shrine, which offers a fascinating slice of life in the Big Mango.

I leave the Hansar Bangkok in search of a Diet Coke and stumble across a Buddhist Shrine with four faces – the Thao Maha Brahma Shrine. There are swarms of both Buddhist devotees making flower offerings, burning incense, and praying and camera toting tourists.

Sometimes it is difficult to determine who is there to make an offering and who is there to sight see because many of the people taking pictures are also making offerings.

Tourists from Afar

I come to the conclusion that many of the people taking pictures are tourists from mainland China, and they seem to be observing and emulating what the locals are doing.

Religion has been discouraged in China since the Communist conquest in 1949. Perhaps this is their way of getting back in touch with their Buddhist past.

There is also a group of performers – both dancers and musicians. Occasionally one or two people kneel down on cushions set up at the front of them and pray while the dancers recite Buddhist mantras.

I notice that some of them give small pieces of paper or money to the performers before kneeling down.

I can’t help but wonder if the performers belong to a temple or if they are paid by the tourism authorities.

At moments like this, I’m not sure if picture taking is appropriate. But everyone else is doing it and nobody seems to care. There seems to be an easy symbiosis between the worshippers and the travelers from afar.

To Be Continued

 

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