It's worth hanging around to watch the dancers at the Erawan Shrine as there is often someone who wants to "make merit" by paying the dancers to dance. Apparently this is often done as a "thank you" for recent good fortune. It's quite expensive - several hundred baht for a few minutes, but chances are if you hang around for a little while, someone will pay and there's no charge for watching!
There's a great page on this shrine at the excellent Thailand Guidebook website:
This shrine is a small, open-air sanctuary, containing a four-headed bronze Brahman sculpture. Because of the miracles attributed to the goddess at this site, the shrine is highly revered by Buddhists worldwide. Traditional Thai dances are also regularly performed here.
This shrine sits at a major intersection in one of the busiest shopping districts of the city. For some reason, it is immensely popular with locals and visitors and you can see all sorts of people lighting candles and incense, praying and even authentic thai dancing done on this street corner.
The Erawan Shrine was built after several workers lost their lives in mysterious accidents during the construction of the Erawan Hotel. No further accident occured after the construction. This place is always crowded with worshippers and Thai dancers.
Originally built as the spirit house for the Erawan Hotel in 1956, this has become the most highly regarded shrine in Bangkok to the highest ranking Brahma God, the four faced Than Tao Mahaprom. It is named after his mode of transport, the three headed Erawan elephant. At any time of day or night you will find people making offerings to the god of incense and flowers. You can also pay extra and 2, 4, 6 or 8 dancers will perform an extra special thank you for you.
The shrine is located at the Ratchaprasong Junction virtually underneath the skytrain and close to ChidLom station
Under the roar of the skytrain, and shadowed by the high-rise shopping centers and hotels on Ploenchit and Rajdamri Road, lies the Erawan Shrine.
Built in the 1950's during th construction of the Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel it was constucted as an offering to local spririts who seemed to be haunting the contruction of the hotel next door.
Often, there will be traditional drncers performing within the shrine grounds paid for by worshippers who mingle easily amongst the tourists and lottery ticket sellers who seem to congregate around the shrine.
San Phra Phrom or Erawan Shrine was created as a spirit house connected to the Erawan Hotel, which has now made way for the Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel. The forces of the typical Thai spirit house didn't seem effective enough during the building of the hotel, so spiritual persons advised that it should be replaced with the four-headed image of Brahma or Phra Phrom in Thai. There have been no further hitches since then, and the shrine has became famous for bringing good fortune. The name Erawan comes from Brahma's thirty-three headed elephant.
People offer colourful flower garlands, lotus, incense and candles. Often, if a wish has been granted, people thank the spirits by donating teak elephants or commissioning the classical Thai dancers and live orchestra.
Erawan Shine is located at the junction of Ratchadamri Road and Phloenchit Road
How to get there
Skytrain to Siam Square if you are from the Silom Line or skytrain to Chit Lom Station if you are in Sukhumvit Line.
I took the Skytrain from Sala Daeng to Siam Square which cost me 15 baht for single journey.
Price for the dancer to dance for you
2 dancers = 260 Baht
4 dancers = 360 Baht
6 dancers = 610 Baht
8 dancers = 710 Baht
Offering to the god will cost you from 50 Baht and above.
"San Phra Phrom or Erawan Shrine was created as a spirit house connected to the Erawan Hotel, which has now made way for the Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel. The forces of the typical Thai spirit house didn't seem effective enough during the building of the hotel, so spiritual persons advised that it should be replaced with the four-headed image of Brahma or Phra Phrom in Thai. There have been no further hitches since then, and the shrine has became famous for bringing good fortune. The name Erawan comes from Brahma's thirty-three headed elephant."
Above are taken from www.thailandguidebook.com
ERAWAN SHRINE: The Hindu Shrine near Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel is where faithful arrive to offer incense sticks & garlands to the famous 4-faced god Brahma. Brahma is thought to be extremely helpful where money matters are concerned. Hence, many worshippers come at all times of the day.
This Four-Faced Buddha literally has four faces which represent the Face of Peace and Health, Face of Good Relationships, Face of Fortune and Face of Protection Against Evil.
It is located at Erawan Shrine at the corner of Ratchdamri Road, about a kilometer away from Siam Square. The place is popular among tourists and visited daily by many local Thais offering their prayers which is why the place could get crowded at times. It is a local belief that prayers get answered when one prays to this Buddha. Around the corner is a performance of a Thai classical dance which, accordingly, were hired mostly by those people whose prayers have been answered as a sign of thanksgiving.
The Erawan Shrine (or San Phra Phrom)is next to the Grand Hyatt Erawan. It features a four-headed statue of Brahma the hindu god of creation. It was built after a number serious accidents occurred during construction of the original Erawn Hotel.
Ordinary Thais are seen making offerings of flowers or incense.
This is one of the larger and more famous street side shrines. You will find hundreds of smaller street side shrines throughout the city.
See a dance performance at the Erawan shrine.
The Erawan shrine also has a small dance troupe. Performances are paid for by worshippers in thanks for wishes granted.