In Thailand, unlike the west, fortune telling is taken seriously by just about everyone. Sure, Thais are Buddhist but, in reality, Thai religion is a mix of Buddhism and animism and the myths and superstitions that go along with that.
One of the most sought after services in Thailand, therefore, is that of a fortune teller. Even high-society, well-educated Thais will go to a fortune teller when they want to know if they should make an investment, buy a business or even if the name they are going to give their newborn baby is a lucky one.
Types of Fortune Tellers in Thailand – In Thailand, fortune tellers are not limited to a crystal ball and palm reading (in fact, I’ve never seen a Thai fortune teller using a crystal ball).
Fortune tellers use palm reading, spirit mediums that inhabit the body of the fortune teller, they use star charts to foretell the future, tarot cards and even regular packs of playing cards from which they will divine good or bad events for you. Some nowadays, too, have even graduated to using high-tech computer programs, in which they will key in all your personal data and wait till it spits out a result then interpret it.
The sky is the limit for fortune tellers in Thailand, as there is one (or thousands!) for any style of reading you would like.
When Thais Visit a Fortune Teller – Thais will go to a fortune teller for advice on just about any issue. Many of my Thai friends go for predictions about relationships or if the date for a family special occasion is an auspicious day (Thais believe in ‘auspicious days’ and every event in their life should fall on one. So if the fortune teller tells them the day they have chosen for their special family celebration is a bad one, most Thais will change it regardless of the cost and inconvenience).
Fortune tellers in Thailand will also be consulted for baby names (“Is it a lucky one or not?”), investment advice, buying a house, good times to travel, basically anything that is a major decision in life, and also some of the minor ones too.
How To Find a Good Fortune Teller in Thailand – Simple. Ask a Thai. There are ‘famous’ fortune tellers all over Thailand. These are often the people who large numbers have had good success with, ie: what the fortune teller has predicted has come true, or the fortune teller has usually predicted happy events.
Some fortune tellers though are truly famous, and Thais will come from miles around to see them.
I recently went to a real estate fair with a Thai friend and, in the midst of all this high-tech, expensive investing going on there sat four famous fortune tellers ready to give advice. At 2pm on a Thursday afternoon, when most of the population was working, 30 people were already in line for each fortune teller as they were known to be the best.
Where to Find a Fortune Teller – If you don’t have Thai friends, or just want to try your luck, you can find fortune tellers in many places in Thailand, particularly in Bangkok, which is over flowing with them.
Near the Grand Palace in Bangkok at Sanam Luang is a favorite place for fortune tellers. You will also find them at many temples, fairs, hotel lobbies and shopping malls throughout Thailand, as well as just sitting on the street.
Mahboonkrong (MBK) mall in Bangkok has several fortune tellers. Chinatown too is a wonderful place to find one. There’s even a well-known fortune teller who sits in the doorway of CIMB Bank, just next to Sala Daeng sky train station. She speaks good English and, apparently, is an accurate fortune teller. She is only there in the evenings though after the bank has closed.
If you find one you like and who speaks English, just pull up a chair and sit down. She will ask you your name and a few personal facts (give them or not, it’s up to you) and then will get down to work.
Most readings last around 10-15 minutes but, in that time, you will often get information on your job, personal life, relationships, things to look out for and more. Feel free to ask questions too, if there is something about your future you specifically want to know.
While many westerners may not believe in fortune telling, most Thais do. And they take it seriously. If it’s not your thing, that’s all well and good, just don’t come to Thailand and criticize it. Fortune telling is a part of Thai culture and also a part of Thai religion and to look down or belittle it is taken as offensive by Thais.
If you do believe in fortune telling, why not see a few fortune tellers while you are here. The average cost is only 100-300 baht ($3.25-$10) per reading and it is a lot of fun too.