If you are not in Bangkok for long then this fantastic place called the Ancient City is definitely worth a visit, it is only 40 kilometers from Suwananbhumi Airport. It is like going to all the important highlights of each province in Thailand in a day. The Ancient City is in a 250 acre park shaped like Thailand and there are magnificent restored buildings, full size replicas & scaled down versions, Temples, Palaces, Floating Markets, restaurants and so much more.
We booked our day out with a great company that we have used before called We Tour Thailand; we had a private guide & used public transport. Our guide Rabbit was so much fun and very knowledgeable, he made sure we knew the history of everything we went to.
The Ancient City was the idea of a man called Lek Viriyaphant; he wanted to give back to the people of Thailand and make sure that future generations know their past. He is also responsible for the Erawan Museum. Lek passed away November 2000 and his family is continuing to build upon his dream.
We hired a 4 seater golf cart to get around, this was perfect for us as this place is huge and we could stop whenever we wanted to, you can also hire push bikes. We really enjoyed our time at the Ancient City; to see everything properly you really need to spend the day there, fantastic place to take the family. The slideshow below will show how amazing this place is!
Ancient City Photo's
This is an impressive, "compact version" of Thailand created by a Mercedes Benz dealer in Thailand who loved Thai art and culture. The huge piece of land is roughly in the shape of Thailand, and many original and reproductions of buildings, monuments, statues, and even a mountain are positioned where they would relative to the same place in Thailand.
The same founder created the Erawan Museum (well, he died before it was completed, but his family finished it), which is the giant, three-headed elephant you can see on the way (also, on Sukhumvit Road).
You can rent bicycles or drive right in. I have never been charged the "farang fee" and the entrance fees are very resonable.
There is so much space that you should never encounter more than a group of school kids, and will find most places very peaceful.
There are places to sit and eat, so don't worry about lunch or even water. In fact, I recommend the floating market area in the photo, so nice. There are small shops selling Thai handicrafts and souvenirs (not expensive).
I have been visiting Thailand since 1986, and I keep coming back to Ancient City. It is like an old friend. Things have changed. For a while, things were in need of maintenance. Some of the water falls had stopped working and some buildings needed paint. But my last trip there, I was quite surprised to see quite a bit of restoration work (I've heard the heirs are trying harder to promote the place), especially to the Sanphet Prasat Palace, an incredible reproduction of the original which once stood in Ayutthaya (it was destroyed by the Burmese). In addition, an entirely new area was well into development: the Re-Creation Area.
You should plan on spending at least a half-day there, which would only be enough to give you a taste of the place.
Update: Unfortunately, they now have a dual-pricing scheme in place: Thai adults=100 b, Thai children=50 b, Foreign adults=300 b*, Foreign children=200 b*. *Includes bicycle rental and tram ride narrated in Thai. I still highly recommend the place.
Ancient city is the largest outdoor museum. Located in Samut Prakan province very near to the gulf of Thailand, about 2 hours outside Bangkok. You need one day to see all the monuments in Ancient City because they are many (116 monuments).
Name: Ancient City
Attraction Type: Outdoor Museum (The largest in the world), Monuments, Garden, Lake, Hill
Location: Samut Prakan province
Area: 320 acress
Shape: corresponding to map of Thailand
Ground Breaking: 1963
Number of Monuments: 116 (and more to come)
Pictures in the web: Ancient City in Samut Prakan, Thailand
Ancient City, Samut Prakan,
km. 33 (old) Sukhumvit Road, Bangpoo
Tel. / Fax. 66-2-3239253
First Photo: "The tiger King's Palace". Monument number 11 in Ancient City
Second Photo: Ancient City
Third Photo: Ancient City
Forth Photo: Ancient City
Fifth Photo: "The Dusit Maha Prasat Palace", Monument number 23 in Ancient City
It is nice to get out of the city and some fresh air. I googled a public bus line and bus stop near the BTS and off I went. The bus driver told me to get off at some place in the suburbs; since I didnt know which other bus to catch, I took a taxi and it took another 10 minutes, also passing the crocodiles farm.
The place is very nice and quiet, friendly staff at the reception. They gave me a map of the 'city' and a leaflet in German, I was impressed. There is opportunity to rent a golf cart or bike. Since I was not in a hurry, I took a bike and off I went. You can follow the map, but at some point I just turned left and right, at the end you will always reach a central point. There are beautiful monuments of different Thai historical sites. Though I didnt know most of them, it was just pleasant to cycle around and read the English signs. There is even a small (artificial) hill to climb. It was under construction, but since no tourists were around, I went anyway. It gave a nice view above Bangkok - on one side the watered rice fields, on the other the Ancient City.
I chose to go the Ancient city, as I only spent few days in Bangkok, and wanted to do something off the crowds. It takes about 2-3 hours cycling around the park, depending how fast/slowly you drive, take pics, etc.
Since it was summer and monsoon time, there was no other tourist around, only several Thai high school students on a school trip.
Before going back to the city, I asked the reception staff for the way, so I went back on public transport. It is a bit confusing, but people are helpful and I managed to get back to the city center.
If you like parks, trees and fresh air, it is a nice place to go and get a little rest from the bustling city. I left my hotel around 10 and was back in BKK around 4, just a very relaxed day trip.
(Sorry, I forgot the bus lines and bus stops.....)
Ancient City is one of the 'must-do' side trips in Bangkok. It is the largest outdoor museum in world with 116 scaled-down replicas of Thailand's most historically significant structures built on 320 acres of land.
For more information, please visit:
Location: Samut Prakan province (around 1 hour from Bangkok)
Opening hours: 8am - 5pm
1. Take air-con bus no.511 or 11 from Banglamphu/Rama I Road/Sukhumvit Road to Samut Prakan, then change onto songthaew (pick-up) no.36 for Muang Boran.
2. A faster alternative is to take the BTS to Ekamai station and take bus no.511/11 from there.
1. Get there early. It's best visited by car. Even by car, it took me 5 hours to cover the whole area. If you do not have a car, dont worry. You can always rent a bicycle (which will be extremely tiring) or take the tram (which may not cover the whole site).
2. Do not miss the 'floating market'. It will give you a feel of the real thing. Food and drinks are pretty cheap (non-tourist price).
Went here on a day tour and it was worth it. The Ancient City is located about 45 minutes out of Bangkok including the traffic. The City is a recreation of famous temples, buildings, and shrines within Thailand. Has things like old Kings Residence, Cheid's, Temples, Villages, Floating village, etc.
The tour is quite interesting and gives you inside to the history of Thailand and Thai life. If you visit the City in the morning you will be back in the city by lunch time.
Muang Boran is an excellent reflection of Thailand's multi-faceted ancient culture presented in an authentic setting. It is open from 8am to 5pm everyday. You pay 300THB at the entrance and you get free use of the bicycle. Muang Boran covers 320 acres of land with 116 monuments for you to discover in one day, therefore good stamina is a must. If you are pressed for time (or money) to see all of Thailand, this place is a definite must. From the Grand Palace replica to the Three-Pagodas Pass in Kanchanaburi, you will have beautiful and scenic backgrounds for your photographs. So, click away that camera!
The Ancient City
The Ancient City, like a door opened to the cultural in heritage of Siam. The visitors are able to see the continuity of the history, arts, cultures, religious, thoughts as well as the believes of Thai talents. It shall reflect to Thai fundamentals and the varieties of the cultures on Thai territories. The historical of Siam will visually be revived at The Ancient City. All the visitors can see and sense by themselves.
It takes about an hour by car from Bangkok to the southern direction.
Adult 300 Baht
Children 200 Baht
For a "tourist spot" that claims to show Thailand in miniature, this sure can be classified as Off the Beaten Path. My friend and I decided to take a guided tour to Muang Boran, and paid about Bt800 (or was it Bt1200? I'm sorry, I have a memory lapse). It is one of the cheapest tours I've ever paid for, but it was one of the most memorable.
Because not too many tourists frequent this place, there were only four of us in the tour group. It was very manageable, and taking pictures was a snap! You didn't need to compete with anybody because there was no one else! And the architecture is just so grand! It may not be the real thing, but if you only have a few days in Thailand, this is one of the great ways to soak in their culture.
Most memorable are there replicas of the traditional houses along khlongs. It was so peaceful, I wanted to live there! There was a whole village, complete with a small chapel! Also memorable was the replica of a palace that looked like a ship. Right next to it are the ruins of the actual palace. And I can't forget the huge statue of a multi-headed snake!
It's too bad that I don't have a picture to show you now. I'll try to scan the prints that I made asap.
Seems to be overlooked by nearly every tourist visiting Bangkok and I never know why. I'm guessing it is because it is on the outskirts and quite hard to get to, but jumping in a taxi it will cost no more than 200 - 300 baht (£3-4) to get here about 30 minutes in the taxi.
When you get there you will have to pay a small entrance fee. The best option I thought to get around the "city" is to rent a bike for another small fee and cycle to the different places on the map.
There are hundreds of temples, buildings etc. made to almost identically resemble existing or ancient buildings from around Thailand. You will see some amazing buildings including some familiar 1s like Wat Arun, The Grand Palace and a floating market.
Ancient City – Muang Boran
This peaceful theme park displays numerous replicas of important monuments in Thailand, it also displays restored buildings and sculptures. The replicas are one third of the real size and the monuments were selected and constructed under the oversight of Thailand’s top art historians. The park is not a major attraction for foreigners, but it is well worth a visit for people interested in Thai culture.
The tour lasts about 5 hours
A collection of 116 different monuments (and more coming soon) from Thailand's past, showing one their rich culture and history. Initially, my Thai friend told me that it was an interesting option due to my time constraints but i wasn't too keen on an open-air museum.
However, after visiting the place, i must have seemed like a fool to have initially rejected his suggestion.
The place was full of replicas of wats (temples), Khmer style structures and various other monuments of full size or 1/3 the normal size. The area is even shaped like Thailand itself to give you an idea of where they are located throughout the country.
But the best thing was, some of those replicas are something you cannot see even if you manage to get to the actual area, like the Grand Palace of Ayutthaya. It was quite awesome to be in the midst of these structures.
Another thing to note is that the place is so well decorated (along with streams, canals and bridges) such that i couldn't even differentiate between what was their power station/furnace and the actual exhibits; yes, those usually sore sights blended in that well.
A bicycle is available for rent at the entrance and it is certainly advisable, but even better would be a car, for nothing is worse than cycling in the Thai heat! Be warned though, that they have biased charges, 100 baht for locals, and 300 baht for foreigners.
ABOUT THE GREATEST ARCHITECTURAL TREASURES OF THAILAND'S CULTURAL HERITAGE : MUANG BORAN (Ancient City)
Muang Boran is located in Samut Prakan province (in the outskirts of Bangkok). It has been ranked the biggest open-air (private) museum in the world.
It has the shape of Thailand and inside its huge park, you can discover the greatest architectural treasures of Thailand various regions (models/reconstructions/typical houses), admire the old wooden stilt houses by the water, and plunge into the past when the traditional life by the water was the essence of the Thai village.
Muang Boran is a very interesting place to visit, especially if you cannot consider visiting all the regions of Thailand during your trip.
It is a place of great imagination and a heaven peace…
If you wish to go there, you'd better book your day-trip through a travel agency (taking the bus is far less cheaper but can be a waste-time adventure : I don't think that it is worth trying it ! But now it is up to you, of course !).
It is better to go there when the doors open (bimorning time) because the weather is not yet hot. I recommend you to both walk and let you drive inside the park, if you want to enjoy the whole place. Remember that it is quite a huge place, so walking all around can be a little bit tiring…
In memory of the builder and very humble owner of Muang Boran, Khun Lek Viriyabbhan (who passed away last November 2000), here are some thoughts noted down by himself :
People who are genuinely important don't have to be severe with others. If they understand humility, others will feel comfortable and be at ease around them. But if an important person makes others afraid of him, he isn't really important. He is deluding himself about his importance.
A person who appreciates the importance of planting trees to provide shade for people of future generation is a person who has begun to know what is good in life
A trip to the ancient city is a must see while spending time in Bangkok
The quality of the work from the past in construction is almost unbelievable