Thai Amulets

thai amulets 23 150x150 Thai AmuletsThai Amulet vendors are almost as prolific as Thai food cart vendors. They can be found in every market, on street corners, and of course at the local temple.

Thai amulets are worn for luck and protection and no Thai leaves the house without at least one on their person. The amulet image is usually one of Buddha or a revered Thai monk. When worn as a necklace the amulet is placed in a protective case that hangs from the necklace. Sometimes they are hung from belt loops and it’s guaranteed that every Thai lady has at least one in her purse.

thai amulets 26 150x150 Thai AmuletsUsually worn around the neck Thai amulets can be made from a whole host of materials. Some are made of stone, wood, or ivory and are very old and expensive. Others can be made of molded powder, rice, or plastic. Amulets are a huge collectible among the Thai people and the rarest and oldest are always sought after and can run over $100,000. Most amulets are rather small but some can be as big as your palm. You’ll see many Thai men walking around Bangkok proudly wearing their amulets sometimes 5 or more at a time on the same chain.

I’ve picked up a few on my trips that are nice but not expensive. If you don’t know the market it’s best just to stay at the shallow end. One amulet I have is very small and made of metal. The other Amulet I picked up when I visited Wat Phra That Phanom. That particular amulet is a small thinly pressed metal with Buddha on the face and the temple in green on the reverse. The amulet comes in different colors according to the day you were born and the color for my day is green.

thai amulets 17 150x150 Thai AmuletsAfter you purchase your amulet you then need to purchase a protective case for it as well as a necklace. The merchant will fit the amulet into the case making sure it is set right and put it on your necklace. Then you are set to go. The Wat amulet cost me a whopping 20 baht ( about 50 cents ), the protective case and chain another 200 baht ( roughly $5.00 ). Very little on the cost scale but a great memory of a beautiful temple visit.

More pictures can be seen in the Thai Amulet gallery

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One Response to Thai Amulets
  1. Chris
    September 28, 2008 | 2:43 am

    In one of my classes there’s a Tibetan Monk. He has a Thai amulet that he actually wears everyday. It looks pretty fancy.

    Chriss last blog post..Touring & Bicycling Through Jiji

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