A Hindu ceremonial site and one of Bangkok’s most recognisable cultural landmarks. The 21-metre teakwood structure was built in 1784 and today stands adjacent Wat Suthat Thepwararam and nearby Bangkok City Hall. The swing apparatus itself once was part of annual Brahmanic merit-making rites, called triyamphawai and tripawai, during which priests swung themselves to pay homage to the sacred triad of Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu.
A highlight of the ceremony involved groups of four Brahmans riding the swing while attempting to catch with their mouths a bag of silver coins dangling from a pole. The rite largely ended in 1935 after numerous accidents, although swing demonstrations are still occasionally performed. The Giant Swing’s vivid red frame was rebuilt in 2006 with teakwood from Phrae province in Thailand’s north.
Guests of Novotel Bangkok Silom Road can reach The Giant Swing in approximately 15 minutes by taxi.