The Architecture of Erawan Museum Are a Spectacle Its Own
Just when you think you’ve seen all that the city has to offer, the Erawan Museum appears out of nowhere. This isn’t just a boring, normal Bangkok museum with cultural exhibits and an over-priced gift shop. Not at all! Instead this is a unique, unusual place with awesome architecture, crazy building design and an elephant as big as a skyscraper. Erawan Museum has some of the most sleek architecture in Bangkok. Sound like your kind of place? Read on!
📷Photo Credit: Erawan Museum’s Facebook Page, go give them a like!
A Museum With More Than Just Exhibits
The first thing you’ll see at the Erawan Museum is a beautiful moat that runs all the way round the building on the outside. You may as well jump straight in with the locals and float a lotus flower on the water for good luck, because this isn’t the most unusual thing you’ll see here today!
Nope, that accolade belongs to the huge elephant statue that makes up the centerpiece of the museum. Standing 29 meters high, 30 meters long and weighing in at 250 tons, this is a sight that will stop you in your tracks. Even better, the museum is actually inside the elephant and its pedestal so you get to climb inside this monster which is pretty cool! The museum itself is structured on three levels, each one more interesting than the last.
Floor 1 – The Underworld
The entry level of the museum is meant to represent the underworld, and intricate carvings adorn the walls depicting scenes from ‘below’. This is a religious shrine as well as a museum and there are plenty of scenes from Buddhist mythology represented here. The most striking sight as soon as you enter is the staircase which is carved in the shape of two dragons intertwined, leading you upwards from the underworld to the second level- the earth.
Floor 2 – The Earth
Congratulations, you’ve escaped the murky depths of the underworld! Here on floor 2 we’ve entered the mortal realm and there are plenty of statues and carvings depicting human life in all its glory. There are plenty of representations of Thai folklore too, and the harder you look, the more you see.
One of the joys of visiting any Thai monument is seeking out the intricate detail included by the artists and there’s plenty of that here to enjoy. Look upwards to marvel at the unusual stained-glass window in the design of a world map, rarely seen in Thailand but stunning in this setting.
Floor 3 – Heaven
The final ascent is up the coolest staircase, which is narrow, winding and entirely enclosed in the giant elephant’s leg! Up you go to heaven, which houses a cool, dark and atmospheric Buddhist shrine. Worshippers come here to pay homage to Lord Buddha as well as the Hindu god Ganesha, the inspiration behind the statue itself. The roof boasts abstract paintings of an almost modernist style, and the whole place invokes a sense of awe.
Once you’ve had your fill of this cool building and its crazy architecture, head outside to enjoy the sculpture garden. Look out for playful elephants, artfully designed rock pools and a whole load of lotus flowers hiding in shaded corners. You can easily spend the day here just relaxing and enjoying the clean air outside the city.
How to get to the Erawan Museum
Although we’ve talked as though Erawan Museum is directly in Bangkok, in reality the museum is slightly outside the city to the South. Don’t worry though, the Skytrain will get you pretty much all the way. Jump on the BTS to the end of the Sukhumvit line then take a Grab, or a tuktuk, for the remainder of the way. Entry is normally 400 baht, but there are sometimes deals online so check out the Erawan Museum website before you leave to see if you can score a discount.
The Erawan Museum is slightly off the tourist trail, but all the more authentic and enjoyable for it. If you’re a fan of unusual architecture and off the wall design then you’re going to love it!