, Bangkok, Thailand
Type of attraction: Entertainment. Cultural. Sightseeing. Religion.
Located on Sukhumvit Road -old route- passing Bang Phli Intersection prior to the Park Nam Intersection, covering an area of 12 rai of the Thonburi Automotive Assembly Plant Company Limited, Tambon Samrong Thap, this museum was inspired by the thought and imagination of Khun Lek Viriyapant, owner of the Ancient City or Muang Boran in Samut Prakan and the Sancturay of Truth in Pattaya, Chonburi. The museum is intended to collect the antiques and cultural heritage of various kinds and to pass on and preserve Thai arts for the future. The Erawan or three-headed elephant is the first free-standing sculpture of the world to be more than a hundred thousand pieces of copper. The smallest ones are a similar size as a palm. They were softened by heat, knocked and connected with delicacy. The height of the elephant and the building combined is 43.6 meters -or approximately equivalent to a 14-17 story building-. The Erawan Museum is divided into 2 main parts. Namely, the upper part consists of the head of the elephant weighting 100 tons and the body weighting 150 tons, 29 meters in height, 12 meters in width, and 39 meters in length. The belly of the elephant or called the 'Heaven' was lined with black ebony designed to serve as a museum exhibiting the precious objects such as the tempera painting of the universe and the collection of antiques of Khun Lek Viriyapant. At the lower part of the elephant is a base consisting of a 14.6 meter -high hall whose structure is made of reinforced concrete with the weight of the elephant being supported by the ring beams outside and inside the building. The weight in then transferred onto the 8 poles outside the hall and another 4 inside. Inside the building or called the 'Earth' displays antiques comprising a pavilion of Phra Ket - Protective God of the Earth and the Ocean, silver and golden staircases, ceiling decorated with stained glass into an ancient map. The decoration inside the building is a combination of various kinds of arts such as the use of stained glass from the West, colorful Bencharong crockery with mixed patters, the embossed design on tin plate by the Nakhon Si Thammarat craftsmen, various old-style sculptures such as Khon Than - a musician in Thai literature, and Naga - a mythical serpent - by the Phetchaburi craftsmen. The basement called 'Chan Badan' - the 'Underworld' houses an exhibition and a large number of antiques such as buddha images, divine images from various eras and Chinese blue and white ceramics. The corridor around the building consists of 8 archways. The museum is also surrounded by a garden of plants appearing in Thai literature and the rare species of plants from every region of the country. Moreover, the sculptures of the characters from the Ramakian story are placed around the building.
Open daily from 8am to 6pm - the last guided tour is at 17:00 .
Admission 150 baht for adults and 50 baht for children.www.ancientcity.com