Ancient Siam: Bangkok’s Best Kept Secret
Ancient Siam (Muang Boran in Thai) is known as the world’s largest outdoor museum but it is a nice place to contemplate and think about this Ancient City. A visitor must pay at least 500 Baht as the entrance fee to this ancient world. It would be advisable to hire a golf buggy or just grab a free bicycle from the shed instead of merely walking on foot. This city is spread out over 320 hectares of land and is shaped like a miniature map of Thailand. The signs are helpfully labeled both in Thai and English.
This city is the brainchild of the late Bangkok businessman Lek Viriyaphant. At first he was contemplating of building a golf course that would feature all the ancient Thai sites. When he was roaming around this place, he noticed that most of the structures were heavily damage because of time. He decided to build an educational park to introduce the old Thailand to the world and all that it richly offered. This is his way of reminding the Thai people about their roots. Ancient Siam openly flaunts the riches of Thailand as shown in the stunning and colorful temples around these parts.
This required hundreds of artists to recreate the present atmosphere. One can say that this ancient city is a continuous work in progress since there are still a lot of good plans for it in the future. The park and its surroundings are covered with ponds, streams and plenty of trees. Bird watchers would have a grand time with their binoculars and camera while going around the grounds. The Grand Palace is an impressive sight to behold and so is the Temple of The Emerald Buddha. The present King does not live in this Grand Palace anymore except when he comes to this city. There are countless golden decorations that display the affluence of Thailand.
There are some giant size statues in this ancient city that makes a person look so small. There is a village that actually features villagers. These villagers display the traditional way of farming and cooking in Thai. There are artisans living and working inside this ancient city. You can watch them while they busily engrave a metal sheet with words in Thai. Another good place to shot a picture is under the Royal Stand which is a gazebo that stands in the middle of a river. Some people refer to Ancient Siam as Thailand’s Disneyland but without the dancing and singing mascots. This also closely resembles Hawaii’s Polynesian Cultural Center without the dances.
From the Bangkok Central a visitor can take the air-conditioned bus 511 heading to Samut Prakan. Embark at the last stop and take one of the 36 mini buses to Ancient Siam. Another alternative would be to take a tuk-tuk ride which cost less than a dollar in the last leg of the journey. This would be a thrilling experience on this trip to Thailand. To end this trip to Ancient Siam, a trip to eat at the nearby Floating Village is a must. Ancient Siam is truly Thailand’s best kept secret.
I have personally spent many hours visiting this great attraction in Bangkok. During my last visit I took pictures all throughout the park and have put them into a series if pages showing the various stops along the route as well as a narrative about that stop. To get started and view what is there for you to explore, click on Ancient Siam Tour.