Bangkok Podcast: Thai Spirit Houses

2017-10-18T21:48:01+07:00July 11th, 2011|Bangkok Podcast Season 1, Buddhism Series|3 Comments

Bangkok Podcast 61: Thai Spirit Houses

Have you ever walked down the street and wondered what’s up with those dollhouses on pillars that seem to be outside every building? Many have, and this is why we’re happy to have Marisa Cranfill on this episode, who is one of Thailand’s foremost (non-Thai) experts on Thai spirit houses. Despite Tony’s mysterious mic problems, we talk to Marisa about what exactly these houses mean and where they come from. She also gives us the lowdown on exactly what’s inside the little structures, why you’ll most commonly see red Fanta soda sitting on the mini ‘porch’, and what happens to all that food that people leave as offerings? It’s a complicated part of Thai culture that has deep roots in Brahmin, Hindu and Buddhist religions, and plays an important part in how Thais see the luck and success – or lack thereof – of their households.

We are also joined by J.J. Grill, one of two reviewers at a website called What We Went Through that aims to give an honest and impartial review of restaurants in Bangkok. No frills, no bias, just honest reporting about the level of service, food and value from a customer’s point of view.

Show Links:

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BK Magazine Bangkok Podcast

Bangkok Podcast Prabda Yoon Portrait of Imaginary Machines
Thai artist Prabda Yoon presents a series of drawings of imaginary machines with a sense of individuality, as a direct criticism of the flat and characterless machines of today. July 12 ~ August 13. Galerie N 139/5 Witthayu Rd.

Bangkok Podcast Takanobu Kobayashi Dream, Dreaming Us
Contemporary oil paintings by Takanobu Kobayashi use a light and shadow technique to focus on facial expressions while sleeping. July 14 ~ August 21. 100 Tonson, 100 Soi Tonson, Ploenchit Rd.

Bangkok Podcast Fashion 60 Years of Italian Fashion
An exhibition of haute couture and accessories by Giorgio Armani, Valentino and Roberto Capucci and more, in celebration of the 60th year of consolidated Italian fashion. July 13 ~ 31. BTS Chit Lom

For information on these events and more pick up a copy of BK Magazine

Photo: Jason Pratt


  1. Pandit July 11, 2011 at 11:09 pm - Reply

    what’s the website? bai si ???

    Good show – one of the best, and not just because I know Marisa.

    But there’s still lots more I’d like to know – the shapes the sizes, the colours, the offerings, the rituals, the Brahmin priests, the ceremonies …

    • Tony July 12, 2011 at 4:36 pm - Reply

      She said her website will be online will be online next year with the release of the book.

  2. Elizabeth July 18, 2011 at 10:18 am - Reply

    Excellent podcast, informative and varied and lots of fun.

    Thanks for the info about the red Fanta, Marisa – that’s something that’s puzzled me for awhile. It appears in a scene of my next travel-book (searching for handmade paper in SE Asia) on the dashboard of a bus from Chiang Rai to Laos. And I’ll quote this podcast as my source in the bibliography!

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