Local Myths and Legends of Bangkok Thailand & Video

Local Myths and Legends of Bangkok Thailand

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Local Myths and Legends of Bangkok Thailand

Bangkok, the vibrant capital city of Thailand, is steeped in history and culture. Beyond its bustling streets and modern skyline, the city is also home to a rich tapestry of local myths and legends. These tales have been passed down through generations, adding an air of mystery and enchantment to Bangkok’s already captivating atmosphere. In this article, we will explore some of the most fascinating myths and legends that are deeply woven into the fabric of this incredible city.

The Legend of the Golden Mount

  • Wat Saket: Located in the heart of Bangkok, Wat Saket is home to the famous Golden Mount, also known as Phu Khao Thong. According to legend, the Golden Mount was built to enshrine a relic of the Buddha’s tooth. It is said that the temple was constructed by King Rama I, who wanted to create a sacred place for people to pay their respects. Today, visitors can climb the 318 steps to the top of the Golden Mount and enjoy panoramic views of the city.

The Ghost Tower of Bangkok

  • Sathorn Unique Tower: Standing tall amidst the city’s skyline, the Sathorn Unique Tower is an abandoned skyscraper that has gained a reputation as the “Ghost Tower.” Construction of the tower was halted during the Asian financial crisis, leaving it deserted and unfinished. According to local legends, the tower is haunted by the spirits of the workers who lost their lives during its construction. Visitors are advised to approach with caution and respect.

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The Legend of Mae Nak

  • Wat Mahabut: Wat Mahabut is home to the shrine of Mae Nak, one of Bangkok’s most famous and enduring legends. Mae Nak was a young woman who died during childbirth while her husband was away at war. Despite her death, her spirit continued to reside in their house, causing supernatural occurrences. The story of Mae Nak has been retold in various forms, including movies and plays, and she is often depicted as a benevolent ghost protecting her family.

The Mythical Naga

  • Chao Phraya River: The Chao Phraya River, which flows through the heart of Bangkok, is believed to be home to mythical creatures known as Nagas. Nagas are serpent-like beings that are revered in Thai folklore and are often depicted as protectors of sacred places. It is said that the Nagas dwell in the depths of the river, guarding the city and its inhabitants from harm. The belief in Nagas is deeply ingrained in Thai culture, and their presence can be seen in various temples and sculptures throughout Bangkok.

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The Legend of the Giant Swing

  • Wat Suthat: Wat Suthat is home to the famous Giant Swing, a towering structure that has become a symbol of Bangkok. According to legend, the Giant Swing was used in an ancient Brahmin ceremony where young men would swing high into the air to retrieve a bag of gold suspended from a pole. The ceremony was eventually banned due to the number of injuries it caused. Today, the Giant Swing stands as a reminder of this ancient tradition and is a popular attraction for visitors.

The Tale of the Erawan Shrine

  • Erawan Shrine: The Erawan Shrine is a revered religious site in Bangkok, dedicated to the Hindu deity Brahma. According to legend, the shrine was built to ward off bad luck during the construction of the Erawan Hotel. It is said that after the shrine was erected, the project faced no further setbacks. The shrine attracts numerous visitors who come to make offerings and seek blessings for good fortune.

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The Legend of the Amulet Market

  • Amulet Market: Located near the Wat Mahathat temple, the Amulet Market is a bustling hub for collectors and enthusiasts of Thai amulets. These amulets are believed to possess supernatural powers and bring good luck and protection to their owners. The market offers a wide variety of amulets, each with its own unique design and significance. Visitors can explore the market, learn about the history and symbolism of amulets, and even purchase their own for personal use.

The Myth of the Golden Buddha

  • Wat Traimit: Wat Traimit is home to the famous Golden Buddha, a statue made entirely of solid gold. According to legend, the statue was covered in plaster to protect it from invaders. For centuries, the true nature of the statue remained hidden until it was accidentally discovered during a relocation. Today, the Golden Buddha is a revered symbol of prosperity and spiritual enlightenment.

The Legend of the River Spirit

  • Chao Phraya River: In addition to the Nagas, the Chao Phraya River is also believed to be inhabited by a river spirit known as “Mae Khongkha.” According to folklore, Mae Khongkha protects those who rely on the river for their livelihoods, such as fishermen and boatmen. It is customary for locals to make offerings to Mae Khongkha to ensure safe journeys and bountiful catches.

The Tale of the Giant Crocodile

  • Bangkok canals: Bangkok’s intricate network of canals, known as “khlongs,” is said to be home to a legendary giant crocodile known as “Chalawan.” According to folklore, Chalawan was a fearsome creature that terrorized the people living along the canals. The story of Chalawan has been retold in various forms, including movies and novels, and has become a part of Bangkok’s cultural heritage.


Bangkok’s local myths and legends add an extra layer of intrigue to the city’s already captivating allure. From sacred temples to abandoned towers, each tale has its own unique charm and significance. Exploring these myths and legends not only offers a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of Bangkok but also invites visitors to delve deeper into the mystical side of this vibrant metropolis.


  • templeofthedawn.com
  • bangkok.com
  • wanderlust.co.uk