Lonely Planet review
What would otherwise be an uninteresting mileage marker has both religious and historical significance in Thailand. Lak Meuang is the city shrine, a wooden pillar erected by Rama I in 1782 to represent the founding of the new Bangkok capital. From this point, distances are measured to all other city shrines in the country. But its importance doesn’t stop there. The pillar is endowed with a spirit, Phra Sayam Thewathirat (Venerable Siam Deity of the State), and is considered the city’s guardian. To the east of the main shrine are several other idols added during the reign of Rama V.
Like the sacred banyan trees and the holy temples, Lak Meuang receives daily invocations from Thai worshippers in the form of commissioned lákon gâa bon as thanks for granted wishes. Offerings also include those cute yet macabre pigs’ head with sticks of incense sprouting from their foreheads.