The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and the Ratchaprasong Square Trade Association (RSTA) are officially inviting tourists and locals to enjoy a series of new urban walking tours in Bangkok’s Ratchaprasong shopping district. The first in the series is the Ratchaprasong Shrine and Culture Walk 2017, which encourages people to discover eight revered Hindu shrines.
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Miss Thapanee Kiatphaibool, TAT Executive Director of the Events Department said, “The Ratchaprasong Shrine and Culture Walk is one of TAT’s ‘Walking Bangkok’ initiatives aimed at encouraging tourists to discover local experiences and lifestyles in different parts of Bangkok, including Ratchaprasong. These walks show the world that even in the most modern parts of Bangkok, there is something for every type of traveller from shoppers to culture lovers and even people seeking a more spiritual side of the city.”
The urban walks around Ratchaprasong are made easier thanks to the recently completed series of the sky-bridges and walkways that link 18 popular tourist destinations including major malls, hotels and dining venues. And as the area records some 600,000 visitors daily, these bridges and walkways allow people to move around safely and avoid traffic making the area ideal for walking tours.
Mr. Chai Srivikorn, Head of the RSTA said, “The Ratchaprasong Shrine and Culture walk 2017 will fascinate anyone interested in how Hindu art and culture plays its part in Thai life and will attract devout visitors from nations; such as, India, China, Malaysia and Indonesia, who may follow similar religious traditions in their home nations. Each of the shrines attracts different followers, and there are distinct rituals observed at each as a way of paying homage.”
The eight Hindu shrines in the Ratchaprasong area are revered by Thais who visit them leaving offerings seeking answers to prayers. This is a fascinating local tradition, and visitors are often delighted to find age-old beliefs and ceremonies taking place in the centre of modern Bangkok.
The Erawan Shrine, built in 1958 outside the Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel, is the best known of the Ratchaprasong shrines, and people circle the shrine for luck and leave offerings of incense and candles. It is also possible to see displays of traditional Thai dancing here. Other shrines include the Narayana Statue at the InterContinental Bangkok Hotel; the shrines of Ganesha and Trimurti in front of CentralWorld; Goddess Uma Devi in front of Big C; the Lakshmi Shrine at Gaysorn Plaza; the Indra Shrine at Amarin Plaza, and the newest shrine, the four-faced Thao Jatulokbal deity, which can be found in Gaysorn Village.
There are plans for a “Ratchaprasong Flavour Walk”, which takes in some of the fine dining in the area and a “Ratchaprasong Shopping Walk” that will highlight some of the amazing malls and shops on what has been called “The Longest Shopping Route” in the world.