Erawan Shrine: The bombing and astonishing comeback

Photo courtesy of Novotel Bangkok Platinum Pratunam

Towering over the vibrant Ratchaprasong Square, Erawan Shrine, haven to the Hindu god Brahma outshines seven other shrines dedicated to deities like Ganesha, Trimurti, Uma, Lakshmi, Chatumaharajika, Indra, and Narayana.

But amidst the spiritual serenity, tragedy struck in 2015, when the Erawan Shrine became the unexpected target of a bombing, claiming 20 lives and injuring 125. Shockingly, an ethnic Uighur dissident and an accomplice were arrested for this horrendous act that shook the tourist haven, particularly popular among Chinese visitors.

Despite the scars of the past, Wisit Suthathirarat, a director of the Ratchaprasong Square Trade Association, remains optimistic. He anticipates a revival in foreign arrivals, crediting the upcoming Moxy Bangkok hotel, nestled within the Market Bangkok shopping mall. Managed by Marriott Hotels, this 504-room establishment on the ninth and 12 to 32 floors promises a lavish retreat for visitors.

Furthermore, the ongoing facelift of the Amarin shopping mall adds to the area’s allure. Wisit envisions these developments catapulting visitor numbers to pre-pandemic heights, reminiscent of the golden days when around 600,000 visitors flocked daily, reported The Nation.

With Christmas bookings reaching full capacity and an anticipated 70% occupancy rate for the area’s ten hotels in the coming year, the Ratchaprasong district is poised for a remarkable resurgence, drawing in visitors from China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the Middle East. Erawan Shrine, once marred by tragedy, now stands as a symbol of unwavering resilience and the captivating heartbeat of Bangkok.

In related news, Erawan Shrine is a popular place for Thai people to make merit and donate money, and those donations totalled 1.8 billion baht in 2022. The cash donations are gathered and donated to a variety of charities. Over 50 hospitals have benefitted from the offerings, receiving about 100 million baht.

In other news, the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (DES) and the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) of Thailand have initiated a collaborative project to implement an effective emergency alert system. The move comes in the wake of a shooting incident at the Siam Paragon Mall on October 3.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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