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by: The Beat Asia
September 07, 2022
The thing about travelling is that time is limited. Whether you’re bound by your visa, your budget, or the days you were allowed to take a leave from work, it can be difficult to explore an entire country in a few days or weeks. Even those who tried to live in a foreign country for a month or more will tell you that there are still a lot to discover despite the length of their stay.
But what if there’s a way to discover everything a country has to offer in a single day? In Thailand, the Muang Boran can let you do just that.
The Muang Boran, also known as the Ancient City, is the world’s largest open-air museum offering reconstructed replicas of Thailand's historic and significant structures. It’s a scaled-down version of the country, and it’s shaped like it too!
The museum occupies about 300 acres of land, or around 227 football fields. It’s so massive that even locals wouldn’t recommended walking if you want to visit all the landmarks! You’ll need to rent a bicycle or a golf cart to explore, which isn’t a bad idea considering that it can get so hot in Thailand. There are also trams that run around the area for free, but they only stop at specific points.
Muang Boran was developed by Thai businessman and millionaire Lek Viriyaphant who has always had an interest in culture and the arts. The museum was originally conceptualised as a golf course with miniatures of famous Thai architecture and monuments, but he later scrapped that idea and decided to transform the 300-acre land into a museum instead.
Muang Boran is divided into five regions. Check them out below!
This area showcases structural designs that have been passed down for generations, particularly the Lanna architecture. Some of the replicas and structures you can see here are the Pavilion of Brahma Vihara, the Main Chedi of Wat Maha That, the Wihan at Sa-Moeng, and many more.
This section of the museum offers vast lands and architecture from countries neighbouring Thailand. Some of the replicas you can find here are the Dharma Center, the Phra That Narai Cheng Weng, the Garden of the Prince of the Golden Conch, and the popular Reclining Buddha.
Explore the heart of Thai culture and find out more about the country’s history and its intricate ties with the Chaopraya River. Some of the structures you can find here are the Floating Market, the Footprint of the Lord Buddha, the Ramayana Garden, and many more.
Whether you’re Buddhist or Muslim, or Chinese or Malay, this area pays tribute to a mixture of religions and races. Some of the replicas you can find here are the Stupa of Phra Maha That, the Manohra Garden, the I-Nao Garden, and seven other structures.
Suvarnabhumi, which means “Golden Land,” is known of its richness and abundance. Here you’ll find the most magnificent architectures, such as the Sumeru Mountain, the Pavilion of the Enlightened, the Giant Swing in Brahmin Temple, and many more.
Muang Boran is in the Mueang Samut Prakan district of the Samut Prakan province, which is a bit outside of Bangkok. To get there, you’ll have to take two modes of transportation.
First, ride the BTS Skytrain’s Sukhumvit line or the Light Green line to Kheha Station (E23). Go to Exit 1 or 3 and hail a songthaew, a small passenger vehicle that looks like a modified pick-up truck. Tell the driver you’re headed to Ancient City (Muang Boran) and ask to be dropped off there. It’s only a four-kilometre-drive so it won’t take that long.
The second option is by driving or hailing a taxi to Muang Boran from the city centre, but you have to consider Bangkok’s traffic and the parking fees when you reach the museum if you decide to drive.
Muang Boran is open daily from 9 AM to 6 PM. Tickets are priced at THB700 for adults and THB350 for children aged six to 14 years old. Buy them at the museum’s official website.
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