Erawan Museum: A Beautiful Bangkok Museum Inside The Leg Of A Three Headed Elephant
Located just outside the centre of Bangkok in Samut Prakan, the famous Erawan Museum is both a beautiful landmark and home to one of the most extensive and dazzling collections of art in Thailand.
What sets this place apart from conventional museums is that it is housed inside a giant bronze statue of a three headed elephant. Named after an elephant featured in Hindu Mythology, the Erawan Museum’s spectacular exterior took almost a decade to build and weighs around 250 tonnes!
Even more spectacular is the collection which lies within the museum itself. The creation of Thai businessman Khun Lek Viriyaphant, the museum contains hundreds of priceless pieces of art and many religious artefacts.
Something really unique to this museum is the way it is organised, inspired by the Hindu view of the universe. There are really helpful English speaking guides available to give tours and give more information about items on display.
The first floor represents the underworld, and houses a great collection of beautiful antiques from many different countries- we particularly enjoyed the collection of Chinese Ming dynasty vases. Taking photos in this section is prohibited and out of respect we decided to not take out our cameras here.
The second floor represents the human realm of existence, or Earth. One particular item to check out here is the statue of Guanyin, the Chinese Goddess with one thousand arms.
Take the ornate porcelain staircase to the mezzanine level of the Earth floor, which is said to represent the centre of the universe.
Here you will find the magnificent (and much photographed) domed roof with its stained colourful glass window, depicting the world and the twelve signs of the zodiac.
The third and final floor of the Erawan Museum represents Heaven, and its located at the top of a winding staircase, actually located inside of the giant elephants legs!
It is here you will find some of the museums most revered items, Buddha relics and statues dating back to the 6th century.
Outside of the museum itself, you will find sprawling tropical gardens to explore with many species of plants and trees.
As well as being an interesting tourist attraction, we think this place is a great spot for photographers to come and capture some stunning images.
The opportunities for budding photographers at the Erawan Museum are endless, from the memorable exterior, the dazzling array of art inside, to the landscaped tropical gardens. Whatever your motivation, we definitely think the trip outside the city is worth it!
The Erawan Museum is open every day from 9am- 8pm and entry costs 400 Baht.
There is not a BTS Skytrain or MRT subway station close to the museum, and we recommend taking a taxi from downtown Bangkok- which should take 30-45 minutes depending on traffic.
If public transport is a must, you can take the BTS Skytrain to Bearing Station and take a taxi to the museum (this should cost approximately 60 Baht each way).
Alternatively, any Samut Prakan- bound bus from Bangkok’s Ekamai Bus Station will drop you off at the museum.