The Erawan Shrine, or ‘San Phra Phrom’ in Thai, is a well-known shrine in located next to the Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel, in Bangkok, Thailand. It is also known by Chinese-speaking tourists as the ‘four-faced buddha’ in mandarin, and is a must-visit for Hindu & Buddhist devotees.

How to go: It is located near the Bangkok Skytrain's Chitlom Station. If you exit the station via the elevated walkway leading from Chidlom to Siam station, you will see the shrine on your left before the Ratchaprasong intersection of Ratchadamri Road. It is also located near many shopping malls such as Gaysorn (5minutes walk) and CentralWorld (8-10 minutes walk). 

The Erawan shrine houses a statue of Phra Phrom, a Thai god equivalent to the the Hindu god Brahma and is a popular attraction for both locals and tourists. 
The shrine sometimes becomes the venue for performances by Thai dance troupes that are hired by devotees as a means to give thanks to the gods for having their prayers answered. 

Despite the peaceful atmosphere at the shrine, it was once a cause for dispute and controversy. 
In March 2006, a Thai man vandalized the shrine and destroyed the statue of Phre Phrom using a hammer, and was subsequently beat to death by two angry bystanders, two road sweepers who had witnessed the vandalism. Some believed the Thai man to be linked to Muslim extremeists but the man’s father claimed his son had mental illness and had sought psychiatric help previously for his condition. Following the vandalisim of the statue, the shrine was closed for a short period, before officially re-opening 2 months later, a newly built statue of  Phre Phom in place. 

The bf and I visited the shrine one evening between 1030-11pm, accessing it via the walkway from Siam to Chidlom BTS station. 
Though it was late, the shrine was still busy, with 20 or more devotees walking about the shrine, kneeling in prayer, or giving thanks. The method of giving thanks at the shrine is similar to that of other temples or shrines- devotees can purchase flowers or other offerings for Phra Phrom, or contribute by giving monetary donations. 

kneeling in prayer

Following our visit to the shrine, we walked to the nearby Mac Donalds at Amarin Plaza to grab some a drink for the long walk back to our hotel, Bangkok city hotel. 
We took a customary shot in from of the thai Mr MacDonald, with our palms paced together in typical Thai style. 

Hotel review: Bangkok city hotel is a hotel located near the Ratchathewi BTS station. Our trip was booked very last minute, so by the time we confirmed our dates and wanted to book our hotels, not many options were left. Bangkok city hotel was one of the few that ticked all the right boxes – 1. Affordable price ($40-50 a night), 2. Walking distance to platinum mall and BTS (15 minutes and 10 minutes respectively), 3. Bathtub and swimming pool, thus we decided to give it a try.

The hotel is located along the main road, about 8-10 minutes walk from the junction. Though it's a mere 10 minutes from the junction, It's a long 15-20 minutes walk from platinum mall. And after an entire day of shopping we were so tired we wished we had booked a hotel that was nearer. No taxis wanted to take us based on metered fare because it was only a short distance (expect to bargain, cabbies typically ask for 100 baht), so we walked back instead.

The hotel building itself is a little nondescript but is not easy to miss as the building is very large and stands out from the other lower-storey buildings in the same stretch. 

facade of Bangkok city hotel, image credit to

entrance of bangkok city hotel

Check in was fast, the receptionist was polite, but didn’t particularly go out of her way to help us or make us feel comfortable.  Our room was right at the end of the corridor on one of the lower floors. Having read prior reviews, we were not shocked when we stepped into the corridor to find it a little hot. The air-conditioning in the room was not very strong either, and it took a long time for the room to cool down.

The room itself however was spacious, clean and adequate. The bed was large and comfortable, and the bathtub, though a little small, was nice.

large bed and spacious room

television, fridge, table and cupboards 

triangle-type corner bathtub

During our stay 1 night stay we didn’t manage to make use of the swimming pool as we returned too late after the pool closing hours, and woke up in a rush to check out. Passing by the stairway however we did hear a lot of noise so I expect the pool is likely to be busy most of the time.

Dining at the breakfast area was comparable to dining at a wet market. There were limited seats but so many hotel guests, so people were standing about, waiting to quickly snap up any empty seats. Trying to get food from the breakfast spread was a similar experience. Once a new try of eggs or ham was brought out, it would be cleared out within a matter of minutes.

gone in a matter of minutes... 

It was then that the bf and I realised that the hotel was occupied by large tour groups. Some of the guests were not very gracious and cut queues to quickly get more food.
Though the breakfast spread was reasonable in terms of variety, the bf and I didn’t feel comfortable eating in such a uncomfortable environment so we quickly got done with breakfast and returned to our room to rest.

breakfast juices, kway teow, noodles, eggs and veggies, sausages, bread rolls

self-service salad with 2 selections of dressings

bread section which was always busy 

Overall for us Bangkok city hotel was alright for a short 1 night stay hotel, adequate enough for resting after a long day of shopping or sight-seeing, but in future we would definitely prefer to book either smaller more intimate boutique hotels offering more personal service and less of the crazy crowds, or a hotel that’s located closer to platinum/pratunam so we can easily walk back after one day of shopping.