Self-guided jogging tour in some of Bangkok’s quintessential neighbourhoods
These three locations in Bangkok, embedded in history and horror, are worth surveying on foot to get into the spirit this Halloween while burning some calories. We bring you spooky backgrounds linked to the landmarks in each vicinity, so get ready to run with the ghouls.
A public park, whose name means a ‘park of woman who was regent’, was built on the grounds of old Klong Prem Prison or later known as Bangkok Remand Prison. In 1992, the location was transformed to commemorate the Queen Sirikit’s 60th birthday after Bangkok Prison was relocated away from the city. There was once a museum inside the park, Bangkok Corrections Museum which vividly displayed different methods to correct the behaviours and execute prisoners in contrast to the current practices that are more humane and less tormenting. The park is also located near Saket Temple, known for its dark history of accumulating corpses infected by the plague to be cremated and Suthat Temple associating with the urban legend of ‘Preta’ supernatural being sightings after the incident.
Samran Rat Intersection
Other than trading, the intersection has a reputation for the so-called ‘spirit door’. Cadavers from Cholera pandemic were carried through the eastern city wall from Rattanakosin Island to perform a proper cremation at Saket Temple (where the famous Golden Mount is). In the past, only the bodies of royal family members would be cremated within the city. Near Samrat Rat also situated an enormous old burial ground yet death row inmates from Bangkok Remand Prison were beheaded and left for the condors to devour. This construes the phrase, condors of Saket Temple and Preta of Suthat Temple as occurrences that people witnessed, with evidence of mural art inside the chapel.
In front of Suthat Temple stationed the great red swing poles that were moved from Bamrung Mueang Road during the reign of King Rama V and had been restored multiple times. The original purpose was to be utilised in a sacred Hindu ritual, Triyampawai Ceremony in which Brahmins stand on a giant piece of wood and swing back and forth to revere and welcome the Hindu God Shiva and bless Thailand at the end of each year. Although the royal ceremony had been abbreviated after King Rama VII era and continued to practice indoors, its sacredness and the chanting of Brahmins remain.