A Visit to Chao Mae Tuptim Shrine - Fertility Awaits You!

Disclaimer: I am not looking to get pregnant. Not now, probably not ever again.

While in Bangkok, one of the things I read about as a tourist destination of oddities was the Tuptim Shrine. There are shrines all over Bangkok, tucked away between houses or, as this one, behind a hotel. There is a LOT of praying going on in this country. This shrine was a little different than most others I have visited.

This particular shrine happened to be very close to my own hotel and I had read about it online and found it a wee bit fascinating. The story goes that a Thai woman was trying oh-so-hard to get pregnant and it wasn't working. She went to this particular shrine one day and prayed to a fertility god to help her conceive. And then, thanks to her prayers, she became pregnant. From that day forth, the Tuptim shrine was believed to be the place to go to meet all your fertility needs.

As you enter the shrine, there are these 1-foot tall statues of children:

They are a bit creepy and I couldn't stare at them very long. I could feel them taking my soul from my body and absorbing it through their creepy little mouths....

The shrine itself isn't that impressive. It looks like any other spirit house that you find outside of any other building.

 But then off to the side, is this random file cabinet. And dresses hanging from the tree.
 I gather these are maybe wedding dresses? They are beautiful, and I'm sure they helped some desperate woman have a baby.

I LOVE this kind of tree. No idea what it is, but it's pretty amazing.

People wrap it in ribbon and say a blessing.

 And they leave offerings at the base of it....

 Say wha?
I'm pretty open-minded...but this was just a bit much for even me. Its just TOO much.
 This is serious....

 To the left of the shrine, more offerings!!

 And at every possible place in this little area, yet more offerings...
These are about 4 feet tall.

There's not many times in life when you are surrounded by things such as this. Unless you are a porn star -HA!

I'm sure you can insert your own joke here about the "offerings" and the tree. I'll save you from any I have to offer. I kinda felt bad for the tree here, it looks like it's trying (rightfully so) to get away...

I'm not really happy with the quality of the pictures, I would have liked to take them from different angles and be more careful about the lighting and whatnot, but there was a group of three hotel men smoking just outside the area, watching me click away. I was a little self-aware about the fact that I was clearly not there to pray and my mission was to take pictures of wooden penises. I wanted to explain to them that I'm a blogger and I'm documenting for my family and friends back home (cause I'm certain all my family and friends need to know about this place), but I didn't know the Thai word for blogger.

This was an interesting destination...but once you see it once, you don't really need to go again. Unless you want to get pregnant of course.


  1. Bijoux said...:

    That is........CRAZY!!! Bahahaha......ok, so the people who bring the smaller ones as offerings....are they handmade or can you buy them in a gift shop?LOL


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