The Erawan Museum (chang erawan)—Samut Prakan, Thailand.
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Ianatlarge
N 13° 37.716 E 100° 35.334
47P E 671878 N 1507213
Quick Description: A Museum of early Thai history, and a religious shrine.
Location: Thailand
Date Posted: 10/13/2010 12:47:28 AM
Waymark Code: WM9XXP
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 0

Long Description:
One of the major tourist attractions in the province of Samut Prakan (located immediately south of Bangkok) is the Erawan Museum, known in Thai as "Chang Erawan".

The main museum building is an irregular oval, and sits under a giant, three headed elephant. This elephant, known in Thailand as 'Erawan', is the Thai interpretation of Airavata, the white elephant which carries the Hindu god Indra. There are three distinct levels to the museum. The 'basement' contains a not overly large collection of Chinese and early Thai cultural artefacts, plus extensive written displays. The second level is a mix of original and reproduction, contemporary religious artefacts from around the world. This second level attempts to harmonise the world religions.

The third level is in fact, inside the 'elephant', and the most beautiful of the three. To reach this spot you must walk up several flights of stairs (or take the lift), into a large 'cavernous' enclosure. This is the interior of the elephant. Here the 'sky' is painted in several shades of dark blue, with European constellations displayed on the sky. Against the walls are a sizeable number of Buddha images. Against the far wall, opposite the entrance, is a large Buddha statue, the centrepiece of this room. All in all, impressively presented.

The grounds of the museum are extensive, and worth a stroll all by themselves.

The only downside to my visit was the tour guide, who gave her extensive presentation only in Thai, however, she had good English and was more than willing to answer any questions between her scripted presentations.

The photography policy was a little confused. There were signs everywhere ordering 'no photograph', but the guide occasionally gave permission for photographs to be taken.

The museum is owned by the same company which owns the nearby 'Ancient Siam' exhibition. This museum is run commercially.

You could have knocked me over with a feather when I saw the pricing policy. The museum charges the same price for foreigners as it does for Thais ! This is in a country where 10 to 1 price differential is not unusual.

Dress appropriately, this is a religious institution as well as a museum. Shoes off in the main museum. The museum is easily reached heading south on the main Sukhimvit rd, approximately 200-300 baht (us$6-$10) from Bangkok by taxi. Just keep an eye out for a giant, three headed elephant. Cannot miss. Strangely, enough, I could not find a museum website, there are many about the museum, but apparently none by the museum.
Thai cultural/religious history.

Street Address:
Sukhumvit Road as you enter Samut Prakan.

Food Court: yes

Gift Shop: yes

Hours of Operation:
Mon-Sun: 08.00-18.00

Cost: 150.00 (listed in local currency)

Museum Size: Small

Relevant Web Site: [Web Link]

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