THAI SPIRIT HOUSES

It is impossible to walk around Thailand without passing many gorgeous statues of what appear to be miniature temples, adorned with strings of colourful flowers and surrounded by offerings such as food and incense. Many Thais believe that when a new building is constructed, the ground beneath is disturbed and that this disrupts the spirits that live within that earth. Therefore, a ‘spirit house’ is put up next to the new building to provide the spirits with a brand spanking new home.

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Legend has it that the spirits might take to haunting the new home unless they are rehoused and kept happy. The spirit houses are very ornate and raised to head height on decorative platforms and are often incredibly beautiful.

The Thai’s have huge respect for these spirits. People bring offerings of food, drinks, incense and flowers to appease those living in the house, and many hoot their horns or bow their heads in acknowledgement as they pass.

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WAT PO, BANGKOK

Wat Po is genuinely spectacular; a huge maze of temples and by far one of the largest and most interesting Buddha statues we’ve seen so far (and that’s saying something, we’ve seen hundreds). Here’s a quick round-up of our impression of Wat Pho:

Architecture: 4/5
Buddha wow-factor: 5/5
Stone Statues: 4/5
Uniqueness: 3/5
Strictness (regarding clothing): 4/5
Variety: 3/5
Popularity: 3/5
Harassment: 2/5 (we were pestered by touts a lot)
Grounds maintenance: 5/5
Refreshments: 2/5
Value for money: 5/5
Overall temple rating: 4/5

Opening times: 08:00 to 18:00
Price: 100 baht for single entry, including a free bottle of water

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