The intersection of Ratchaprasong and Ratchadamri sits at the heart of one of the most moneyed blocks in Bangkok. Earl Grey is poured in tea rooms, high-end bags are passed over the counter in Louis Vuitton stores. But the scent of incense and the dissonant chime of the gamelan reveal that more is worshiped here than Prada and Issey Miyake.
Under the shade of shopping towers and BTS skytrain lines glimmers the elegant Erawan Shrine. During the day, the shrine is always busy with worshippers laying devotions, apsara dancers efforting through a routine in the tropical heat, and tourists gazing in from the periphery. After dark, the scene changes drastically. The shrine is attended by only a few pious pilgrims, late-shift workers or hi-sos of high-positions unable to visit during daylight hours. Incense is lit, green bananas and marigold garlands are laid out, as Brahma shines brilliantly from his blazing throne.