The Best Dressed Tree In The World?

The Best Dressed Tree In The World?

There are many questions in life you never think you will ever have to find an answer for. ‘Where is the best dressed tree in the world?’ is probably one that comes under such a heading. But if ayone ever asks you such a question, I think I may have found your answer.

I will admit, I haven’t done extensive research on the subject, but I can safely say that the tree with the best attire may reside in Bangkok. How do I know? Because I pass the tree every day and I see it’s ever-changing and growing wardrobe.

Fashionable Timber

 I’ve never been one for fashion. My getting dressed routine in the morning consists of me asking ‘is it comfortable’, ‘does it still fit’ and ‘can I get away with this at my age?’ Usually, I’m more than ok with this, but it’s one thing to be upstaged by people looking impeccable in the latest fashion, it’s another to be upstaged by a tree. As anyone who’s spent any length of time will tell you, many trees in Bangkok are better dressed than the people passing by. What I don’t know about the latest trends on rooted timber isn’t worth knowing. But why is it that some Bangkok trees can look better than me? Why do they have more outfits that a fashion model?

If you want to know what trees are wearing this season, we may have the answer in Bangkok because I have found the best-dressed tree in Bangkok, maybe in all of Thailand. Who knows, perhaps this is the best-dressed tree the whole world.

a huge old tree with bright dresses hanging from every branch.
A Tree Wearing Clothes

A Tree With The Best Attire

But the tree can’t take any credit for it’s unique fashion sense so how has this tree earned such a title? The short answer is ‘superstition’. Underneath the kaleidoscope of colourful outfits is a very big and very old tree and the reason for its snazzy attire has everything to do with its size and its age. Underneath the kaleidoscope of colourful outfits is a huge and ancient tree and the reason for its striking attire has everything to do with its size and its age.

Timber With Spirit

The tree you can (almost) see under the dresses in the photo is called Hopea Ordorata or Ta-Khian, and according to Thai folklore, they are a very sacred tree. The Hopea tree is believed to contain a female spirit called Nang Ta-Khian, and she manifests wearing traditional Thai attire, hence the array of female clothing. Any trees where a spirit is deemed to reside become an object of pilgrimage and the clothes are an offering to the female spirit.

a huge tree with womens dresses covering every branch
The best dressed tree in the world?

The offerings are left in the hope that the Nang Ta-Khian will bestow good luck, so this tree must be considered very lucky to be covered in so many dresses. In recent times the Nang Ta-Khian and all her finery are believed to be particularly good at endowing luck when it comes to lottery numbers, so I can only imagine someone who made the pilgrimage to this tree then promptly hit the jackpot!

A Cup Of Tree

It’s not only the dresses that this tree is given in the hope of spreading good luck, but drinks are also served around the clock just in case Nang Ta-Khian gets a bit thirsty. Again, let’s be honest, if you had to live in a tree, you’d probably have slightly dry lips and what better way to quench your thirst than a nice bottle of fizzy red pop.

The roots of a large tree with bottles of fizzy drinks around it.
Thirsty Tree

Whether you believe in this superstition or not, their can be no denying the tree’s style and crown as the best dressed in the world.

The base of a tree with lots of drinks and food around it with a small alter in the middle.
Without Doubt A Tree With Style

And whether you believe in the Nang Ta-Khian or not, nobody can deny that someone did really well from this tree. So the only questions that remain are what dress size is the Nang Ta-Khain and where can I purchase a lottery ticket?!

a large old tree with dresses hanging from every branch

11 Comments Add yours

    1. Thank you very much 😊🙏😊 This is the first time anyone has done this for me ☺️

  1. DoMoreBeMore says:

    Personally I wouldn’t buy anything in large so you don’t offend any spirits!
    More chance of winning that lottery ticket!
    Interestingly I saw something similar on insta about penis shrines. I’m not exactly a prude but for the life of me couldn’t figure out why they have them … so I googled. Similar thing; they start off as a shrine for good luck for fertility (which makes perfect sense to me now!)

    1. Haha, yes I’ve seen that penis thing (that’s a sentence I never thought I’d write!), a think it’s in Japan…

      1. DoMoreBeMore says:

        There’s actually one in Bangkok – a new blog post subject maybe??
        https://www.thaizer.com/culture-shock/bangkoks-penis-shrine-chao-mae-tuptim/

      2. Whaaaat!? That’s tempting! 😂

  2. Does someone have the responsibility for taking care of these tree offerings? For example, taking care of old food or drink left there? Or are the original givers expected to return after a number of days to collect their offering before it becomes a health hazard or animal attraction? Such a fascinating tradition.

    1. Good point and I should have mentioned it (I was actually just checking that you are paying attention…🤪) The tree and others like it seem to be the responsibility of whoever works/lives nearest. I’m only guessing though because this tree is next to a hotel and I’ve seen staff from there placing drinks etc. But I’ve also seen cats eating and drinking items that have been left there and other places, which would explain why you will also regularly see stray cats living near shrines like this one.

  3. So here’s my idea… Next time you need new clothing or something to drink? Put a branch in each hand, glue a few leaves on your head and pretend you’re tree. It will probably be a more interesting way to spend your days than what you’re doing now and people might worship you. Of course dogs might pee on you… but that’s still more interesting, right?
    😉

    1. Firstly I’m already worshiped and dogs already pee on me so I’m halfway there already. Secondly I really like your idea but will glue stay adhesive if I’m sweating so much?

      1. You might want to re examine your sweating issue… it could be a factor in why dogs pee on you.

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