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Locals do not visit the phallic shrines around the country to get Instagram-worthy selfies. No, they flock to these shrines in hopes of one thing: fertility. The shrine at the Swissôtel Bangkok Hotel, for example, is said to house a female fertility spirit. The spirit’s name is Chao Mae Tubtim, and women who are unable to conceive visit in hopes that the spiritual penises will allow them to have children. Latest news is that the shrine is supposedly being moved to a new location.
The same goes for the penis shrine found on Railay Bay on the Phra Nang Beach in the province of Krabi. Tucked away next to a large limestone rock used for climbing you’ll find a plethora of penises of all shapes, colors, and sizes. The penises are adorned with small spirit houses, ribbons, marigold offerings, and more.
The spirit of Phranang, or the Princess Goddess, is believed to reside amongst the wooden penises on Thailand’s coastline. The princess was killed in a shipwreck near where the shrine sits today. Locals will come with offerings with the belief that such gifts will bring about a fertile womb and the possibility to successfully conceive. In addition to fertility, locals visit in hopes of having good karma and to ask for things like success.
Visitors who simply want a photograph or two should not worry about leaving these shrines with an extra person to care for. It is quite common, however, for tourists to light incense and the like at these shrines to fit in with the locals. That being said, unless visitors are ready to have a family of their own, maybe it is better to abstain from offering any of the penis shrines in Thailand any gifts just quite yet!