Asia, a land of wonders - these are my thoughts, experiences and travel tips from SE Asia

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Erawan Museum - Thailand

One of the pleasant ways to spend a rainy Saturday in Bangkok is to go to a museum which we did a couple of week ago. We knew there are quite a few of them but we also know that the museums are not popular things for the inhabitants of this country - or at least this is what we concluded after many years spent here.

So, quickly jump into the car and destination was The Erawan Museum. The Thai name is พิพิธภัณฑ์ช้างเอราวัณ and this is a museum a few KM away from the city but on the Sukhumvit road - it is located in Samut Prakan, Thailand. The thing that made us noticed this museum is the giant three-headed elephant display. The three storeys inside the elephant contain antiquities and priceless collections of ancient and religious objects which belongs to K. Lek Viriyapant this being the museum owner as well.

The sculpture is made of bronze and it took about 10 years to complete it.

There are three separate floors which symbolise the universe and are designed in accordance with the three-tiered cosmology of the Hindu-Thai Buddhist concept of Tribhumi.

The first level, at the basement represents the underworld. There are many rare artefacts from furniture to ceramics and pottery along with descriptions which are quite interesting to read. Here the photos are not allowed.

The next level (ground level) is the human world, where the architecture reflects a harmonious blend of Eastern and Western art. The ceiling features a painted world map and a zodiac.

A narrow spiral staircase of about 160 stairs, if I'm not wrong, passing through the right hind leg of the elephant leads to Tavatimsa Heaven, deep inside the elephant's belly this being the most beautiful parts of the museum.

Don't forget to walk a few minutes through the garden near the Erawan museum which is quite great for taking a few photos.

As any place in Thailand, there are a few souvenir shops and food shops which came very much in handy! You can enjoy a small variety of original dishes including noodles and pad-thai as well as coffee or other beverages. I would recommend the pad-thai in this case.

I almost forgot, the map is right here: Google maps link to Erawan Museum, Bangkok

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