Muang Boran

Muang Boran

Beautiful Bronze Horses & Chariot

Beautiful Bronze Horses & Chariot

When and if you are tired of the traffic, the crowds and the shopping in Bangkok, a relaxing alternative is to go on a side trip to Muang Boran.   This trip, should you decide to venture out, will take about a day; depending on how much of a good time you are having!

Let’s see… How to get there?  Well…….

Take the BTS and get off at Victoria Memorial Station; then catch a taxi to Muang Boran.  It takes about 35 +/- minutes, depending on traffic.  Always traffic!  There’s an admission fee of 200Baht for tourists or foreigners, 100Baht for Thai nationals or a resident of Thailand.  If you have a driver’s license, which proves you live in Thailand, the ticket is 100Baht.  I produced an insurance card and that did the trick!  Not sneaky, just wanting to receive fair treatment since I live in the Kingdom of Siam!

Muang Boran Map

Muang Boran Map

Muang Boran, which translates as “ancient city” is a “park” constructed on a spread of over 200 acres in the shape of Thailand.  This “recreational” area was built by a wealthy individual.  Mr. Lek Viriyahpant, owner of one of the very first Mercedes Benz car dealerships in Thailand and I really appreciate his giving back to the country and community with this gesture.   There are on-going renovations, being done, “new” sites, maintenance of landmarks, temples, statues is perpetual task for the crew….

Still hand mixing cement....

Still hand mixing cement….

 

There are over 112 “landmarks” in the park and each is unique to its geographical area of Thailand.  (I apologize for the small map of this attraction but that’s the best I could come up with).  The wats (obviously) , palaces, floating markets, shrines,   legends,  Reclining Buddha,  the Ramayana Garden, The Gateway of Wat Pho Prathap Chang, Phichit, Garden of the gods …. Bronze, concrete, wood and whatever else was/is used to create these magnificent structures.  All these landmarks are replicas, about 1/3  or 1/2 the size of the actual structures.  Some are made to look exactly of  the originals, but scaled down for easier upkeep and site allotment? 

Sanphet Prasat Palace, Ayuthaya

Sanphet Prasat Palace, Ayuthaya

Do you know that there are many versions of Buddhism?  Originated in India, the teachings came to Thailand and other Asian countries…. With that in mind, there are differences in the images of Buddha and idols.  The headdresses, the hair, facial features, faces, hands,

Muang Boran8

Buddha Image

robes and even postures are so very interesting to me because I never paid much attention to the details of the statues or idols.  Now, thanks to the kind teachings and sharing of knowledge from a friend who is an avid reader and traveler, I am beginning to know the difference between the various versions and periods of Buddhism, the countries of origin, etc.  So much to learn for an inquisitive mind!

Sala of 80 Yogi..Wow!  Flexibility!

Sala of 80 Yogi..Wow! Flexibility!

Spreading over 200 acres will be difficult to walk the land; so the Park provides (for a fee) bicycles or golf carts for your convenience.  I opted for the golf cart, but of course!  Believe it or not, we were there touring for 5 hours and still did not complete my “mission” in 5 hours!  That should give you an idea of how vast this place is!

The Phanom Rung Sanctuary, Buri Ram

The Phanom Rung Sanctuary, Buri Ram

  My friend and I are into photography so we took longer at each stop than most people…. You know, shooting this angle and that, distant shots and close-ups!  Now, since I didn’t finish the tour this last time, I will just have to return and again embrace the sites, the history and the landmarks in one location!  Not having to tour the entire country although that could be fun too!  By the way, the park closes at 5PM and that’s the only reason we left!  So much to see, so little time!

Reclining Buddha, 1/3 size of the original

Reclining Buddha, 1/3 size of the original

I was there during the rainy season and there weren’t too many people there…. Even if there were plenty of tourists, it didn’t really matter since it’s such a huge area!  Lunch was at a restaurant at the “floating market” and you wouldn’t believe what I saw in one of the basins or crates holding dirty dishes waiting to be washed!  At first I thought it was a baby snake but looked closer… it was an overgrown gecko or lizard looking for scraps!

Snake?  Nah... just a overgrown lizard!

Snake? Nah… just a overgrown lizard!

    Thought they only eat insects!   Food wasn’t that great, but, with every tourist place, can’t complain much! 

Floating Market

Floating Market

Thai love stories/literature, Indo-China legends, Hindu gods and goddesses,  various deities, beautiful murals, wood carvings, paintings and carvings on the ceilings of any given building .  Trying to learn and understand history and accepting different cultures plus the reasons of where we are today. “In fact, it is only a mist clinging around us and leading us into a rotating space, creating love and hate.”  From the book “Muang Boran” .  This statement is so philosophical…. Buddhist teaching, perhaps?

I am very much into history, and in this instance, ancient history.    Seriously, I have always believed nothing has or will change, but only the faces, then and now.

Enjoy the photos with their captions!

Pavilion of the Enlightened

Pavilion of the Enlightened

The Royal Racing Boats

The Royal Racing Boats

 

    Muang Boran18

OK, below are two of my all time favorites at Muang Boran!

One of my all time favorites!

One of my all time favorites!

 

Garden of the gods...

Garden of the gods…

Beautiful, huh?

Beautiful, huh?

©Copyright 2013.  All rights reserved.  No part of this publication may be reproduced without the expressed written consent of the author.

 

Related Posts

6 Responses to “Muang Boran”

  1. Joan Knab says:

    This is great Bernie! My kids are flying into Bangkok from the U.S. next week and we are meeting them there for a few days. I think that I will really try to put this park on our itinerary. It’s amazing. Thanks for sharing this!

    • Bernie says:

      Hi Jonie,
      It’s a great place, but it’s also hot now, so be prepared! Lots of water and a hat or umbrella! With occasional rain in the PM, may be a welcoming cooling session!
      Have fun! Let me know how you like it!

  2. Terry says:

    Now that is a cool location! Wow! The Buddha images, gardens and statuary look fantastic.

    Thanks for sharing. For purely “natural” beauty, highly recommend Doi Ang Khan.

  3. Bruce says:

    Bernie, that appears to be just spectacular. Also, it seems that you clearly found your niche in travelling, photography, inquiring, and reporting. You are a natural and you are making great use of your well known “inquiring mind”. Miss you a group and a bunch, but always looking forward to more articles.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>