Walking around Bangkok is always a feast for the eyes. In the most unexpected of places, you’ll suddenly come across some shrine or temple – in this case, a shrine to the Hindu god Brahma with four faces (which symbolize the four books of the Vedas). What struck me were the many small elephant statues at the base of the shrine.

Thai people are quite suspicious and believe in many guardian spirits or angels. A very common image I saw is the guardian serpent, Naga, whose job is to keep bad spirits at bay. You see Thais paying respects to all sorts of gods and spirits, including Indian ones.

And when a Thai person believes that a god or spirit has helped in their life, they pay respect through offerings such as food, flowers and, with Brahma, small elephant statues. I would love to have spirited off with a couple of the cute elephants, especially the gold ones, but thought that would be very bad karma indeed!

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