Thailand's Love for Lucky Amulets: Scam or Salvation?

Amulet market
Amulet market | © totalitarism / Flickr
Kyle Hulme

For Buddhists in the Thai population, their faith plays a huge part in what they do, how they go about their daily lives, and who they are. And one way they project that faith is through a series of amulets and ornaments. But do they work?

Not a fashion statement

Amulet market

Whether it was around somebody’s neck, for sale in a temple, or a whole bunch of them covering the dashboard and hanging off the rear view mirror of a taxi, there’s no doubt you’ll have come across a Buddhist amulet during your time in Thailand. However, to Thais they are far more than a fashion statement. It may feature the likeness of the Buddha, a famous monk, or a god, but the Thais believe these amulets are not just lucky, it can also keep them safe, bring prosperity, and ward off evil spirits. They’re common across the whole spectrum of Buddhist Thais, from school children to old people, rich and poor alike, and haven’t waned in popularity over the years. The big question, though, is do they work?

Auspicious accessories?

Superstitious Siam

Sak yant tattoo

Amulets aren’t the only superstitious features of Thailand. The Thai people’s belief in ghosts can dictate their behaviour, such as forbidding whistling, whilst they are also said to provide lottery numbers. Similar to amulets, Thais also believe that their famous sak yant tattoos can bring the wearers special powers, such as being protected from harm or making them attractive to the opposite sex. Certain activities are also banned depending on the day. For example, haircuts are said to be bad luck on a Wednesday, so many hairdressers are closed on this day.

landscape with balloons floating in the air

KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?

Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

X
Edit article