This pleasant themed park makes for a great day out away from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok. Often called Ancient Siam, the Ancient City(Muang Boran in Thai) park is collection of scale models, buildings and sculptures recreated to represent Siam’s ancient culture and history.
Inside the 600 rai (240 acres) green expanse you will find small villages, lavish gardens, winding water ways, a small floating market and of course food and drinks. There are push bikes available, a health care center, wedding and filming facilities, as well as comprehensive guides to the park and historical facts.
Located on Sukhumvit road in the Samut Prakan district of Bangkok, the park costs 300 baht for foreigners and 100 baht for Thais.
296/1 Moo 7 Sukhumvit Road, Bangpoomai, Muang Samut Prakan, BKK 10280. Tel: 02 709 1644
1.The Royal Stand – The Royal Stand is in the Sukhothai style. A small Thai pavilion is raised on this stand to house a statue of Brahma, the Hindu deity who is the official symbol of Muang Boran.
2.Information Pavilion – Traditionally, a Thai pavilion (or sala) is built outside the city walls in front of the main gate. It serves as a shelter for travellers who are waiting to enter the city while the city gate is still closed.
3.The Cut Wall and Gate – The entrance to Muang Boran is modeled after the oldest stone fence at Maha That Temple, Chalieng, Sukhothai Province. The stone fence dates back to the 12th or 13th century A.D.
4.I-Nao-Garden – The garden features sculpture of I-Nao and Busaba, the prince and maid of a classic love story originating from the late Ayutthaya period.
5.The City Sala – The City Sala at Muang Boran is modeled after an ancient pavilion at Wat Yai Intharam in Chon Buri Province. Once King Taksin the Great King (1767-1782) rested here with his troops to subdue a chief of rebellion, Nai Thong Yu Nok Lek.
6.The Manohra Garden – Manohra is another character from classic Thai literature. This young kinaree (a half-human half-avian mythical creature), is one of the main characters of Suthon Jataka, a tale from a collection of stories called Panasa Jataka.
7.The Stupa of Phra Maha That, Nakhon Si Thammarat – The stupa, where the Buddha relics are housed, was built during the reign of King Si Thammasokarat in 555 A.D. The stupa at Muang Boran is smaller than the original one at Nakhon Si Thammarat by one-third.
8.The Pallava Group of Images, Phang-nga – The images of the three Hindu deities, Vishnu, Shiva and Laksamee were carved out of stone by Pallava sculptors living in southern India around the 8th-9th centuries A.D. Now these images are kept at the Nakhon Si Thammarat National Museum.
9.The Stupa of Phra Maha That, Chaiya, Surat Thani – The Phra Maha That is one of the most sacred and important monasteries in the south of Thailand.
10.The Old Market Town – The Old Market Town or Talad Bok has been recreated to portray the atmosphere of an ancient Thai community. The residential quarters in the old market town are inspired by those standing along the ancient road in Tak Province together with the local shops in Kamphaeng Phet.
11.The Tiger Kings Palace, Phetchaburi – The teaching hall at Wat Yai Suwannaram, or normally known as the Tiger Kings Palace, was once situated in area of the Ayutthaya Grand Palace. Like many of the feature in Muang Boran, the teaching hall is reconstructed in a smaller size.
12.The Scripture Repository – In the past, the scripture repository is normally raised on piles over a pond to protect the palm leaf manuscripts from ants and termites. The one at Muang Boran has been built and preserved for posterity. The repository was brought from Wat Yai, Bang Khonthi in Samut Songkhram Province.
13.The Bell Tower – Nearby the scripture repository there is a bell tower which has a unique local style hardly seen today. Muang Boran obtained this building from the same monastery.
14.The Stupa of Phra Maha That, Ratchaburi – The Stupa of Phra Maha That, Ratchaburi Province represents Mahayana Buddhism, it was construct ed during the Lop Buri period dating back to the 11th century.
15.The Palace Garden – Muang Boran brought all of the original buildings from Wat Phai Ngoen in Yan Nawa District, Bangkok, they show considerable influence of Chinese art in the Thai court during the early Rattanakosin period.
16.The Audience Hall of Thon Buri – The Audience Hall or the former hall of the Palace of King Taksin now functions as the Headquarters of the Navy. The throne from which the king made his pronouncements is a stepped wooden moon stone raised 1.20 meters high with 2 flanking staircases.
17.The Buddha Image of Dvaravati Period – Nakhon Chai Si, an ancient city, is located in Nakhon Pathom Province, prospered be tween the 7th-11th century A.D. The city was presumably the most important city of the Dvaravati Period which dominated central Thailand.
18.The Dvaravati House – The Dvaravati House at Muang Boran is modeled after Ruean Thap Khwan, located in the Sanam Chan Palace in Nakhon Pathom Province.
19.Khun Phaen House – The Ayutthaya style house at Muang Boran is modeled after the original Khun Phaen House located in a pond in the vicinity of the ancient prison located behind Wat Ket, Ayutthaya Province.
20.The Great Battle of Yuthahathi – When Ayutthaya fell to Burma in 1569 A.D. during the reign of King Phra Mahin Dharatirat, Prince Naresuan was brought to Burma by King Bayinnaung (Burengnaung) as the hostage.
21.Monument of Krom Phra Ratchawang Boworn Maha Surasinghanat – In the Ban Phlu Luang Dynasty, that the official title of Krom Phra Ratchawang Boworn Satan Mongkon was initiated. Appointed by the King, the titleholder became the second most powerful man in the country.
22.Three Pagodas Pass, Kanchanaburi – The Three Pagodas Pass forms the borderline between the Siam Kingdom at Kanchanaburi Province and Burma at Tavoy. The pass is named after the three pagodas standing there side by side.
23.Dusit Maha Prasat Palace (The Grand Palace) – Muang Boran has succeeded in recreating the original appearance of the Dusit Maha Prasat Palace, which was remodeled in the reign of King Rama III.
24.Rattanakosin Dwelling – Rattanakosin Dwelling was initially constructed during the reign of King Rama V.
25.The Wihan at Wat Phra Si Sanphet, Ayutthaya – The wihan is located within the grounds of a royal monastery, Wat Phra Si Sanphet which is situated within the old Grand Palace of Ayutthaya.
26.The Chom Thong Palace Hall – Located northeast of the main assembly hall, the Chom Thong Palace Hall is one of the palace halls that lies within the grounds of Wat Phra Si Sanphet. It is not known exactly when it was first established but evidence found later showed that the palace hall once functioned as a scrip ture repository.
27.Sanphet Prasat Palace – The Sanphet Prasat Palace was the principal palace in the early Ayutthaya period. It was initially built in the reign of King Baromatrai Lokanat, the eighth king of Ayutthaya.
28.The Ramayana Garden – Ramayana or the Tale of Rama is an ancient Indian epic telling the story of the migration of the Arayan people into the Gangetic Plain of northern India.
29.The Kam Yaad Palace Hall, Ang Thong – Phra Thi Nang Kam Yaad or the Kam Yaad Palace Hall was a residence of King Uthumphon of Ayutthaya (1758 A.D.). The palace is located within the walls of Wat Pho Thong, Kam Yaad District, Pho Thong, Ang Thong Province.
30.The Phra Kaew Pavilion – The Ayutthaya Kingdom had spread power throughout the region and neighboring areas; the dependent states of the Ayutthaya, then, were responsible for sending tributes to the king of Ayutthaya.
31.Khun Chang-Khun Phaen Garden – Khun Chang-Khun Phaen is famous Thai literature from the late Ayutthaya period. This Thai tale presents both amusement and tragedy.
32.The Fruit-Shaped Tower (Prang Mafueang), Chai Nat – This prang has a tower shaped like a carambola, a fruit know in Thai as mafueang, was popular during the pre-Ayutthaya periods, namely U-Thong Art and Ayothaya Art.
33.The Footprint of the Lord Buddha, Saraburi – The mondop housing the Footprint of the Lord Buddha, one of the most sacred places of Thailand, is an designed in the architectural style of Ayutthaya art.
34.A Monks Residence – This monks ancient teak residence was taken from Wat Sitraram in Tak Province.
35.Prang Sam Yod, Lop Buri – Prang Sam Yod or the Three Spired Sanctuary, is located in the heart of Lop Buri Province.
36.The Wihan of Wat Pho Kao Ton, Sing Buri – The Wihan of Wat Pho Kao Ton has been an important historical site since the Ayutthaya period. In 1765 A.D.
37.The Courage of the People of Bang Rachan – During the late Ayutthaya period, in the reign of King Ekathat, Burmese troops invaded Ayutthaya Kingdom and subdued Siamese.
38.The Thai Hamlet from the Central Plains – Muang Boran has re-erected a group of Thai Hamlets made of paneled teak surrounded by steady fences.
39.The Gateway of Wat Pho Prathap Chang, Phichit – Wat Pho Prathap Chang was an example of art and architecture of the late Ayutthaya period, like other ubosots (ordination hall) of the late Ayutthaya era.
40.The Krai Thong Garden – Krai Thong is a folk tale of Phichit Province relating a story of the king of the crocodiles, Chalawan and his complicated love affairs that finally led him to a tragic end. Krai Thong garden constructed at Muang Boran displays a group of sculptures depicting important scenes of the story.
41.The Prang of Wat Chulamanee, Phitsanulok – The stone tower or prang of Wat Chulamanee is located in Wat Chan District, Phitsanulok Province. Muang Boran has constructed a model of the Prang of Wat Chulamanee by making it at one-half scale.
42.The Sukhothai Wihan – The Sukhothai Wihan at Muang Boran was reconstructed based on archaeological and historical evidences; the wihan is constructed based on the wihan of Phra Buddha Chinarat of Wat Phra Si Ratana Maha That in Phitsanulok Province.
43.The Garden of the Gods – The splendid Garden of the Gods at Muang Boran has been painstakingly created. It is a collection of contemporary bronze images of the various Hindu gods; most of which are often mentioned in Thai classical literature and have been well-known among Thai people for centuries.
44.The Fortified Wall around Kamphaeng Phet – Ancient Kamphaeng Phet, situated on the banks of the Ping River, stands opposite to Nakhon Chum, an ancient city. The fortified wall of Kamphaeng Phet at Muang Boran is smaller than its actual size by three-fourths.
45.The Floating Market – The floating market provides an ideal rural backdrop to the daily life of the people living on the banks of the river; especially the local life in the central plain of Thailand. The floating market at Muang Boran is a reflection of traditional Thai life along the river.
46.The Wihan at Wat Phrao, Tak – The wihan at Wat Phrao is located within the community of the floating market. It was formerly located in Tak Province, being one of the oldest monasteries in the province.
47.The Lotus-Bud Tower – The Lotus-Bud Tower stands on Chang Hill in Tak Province. The renowned and ancient monument dates back to the Sukhothai period. Muang Boran reconstructed the building by making the stupa smaller than the original by three-fourths.
48.The Bench of Public Appeals, Sukhothai – The Bench of Public Appeals at Muang Boran is a long Thai style hall covered by a tiled roof. The bargeboard reflects the influence of Sangalok kilns of Sukhothai.
49.Noen Prasat, Sukhothai – Noen Prasat, all that remains of the old palace, is in front of Wat Maha That in the old Sukhothai Kingdom. It was first recovered in 1824 A.D. during the reign of King Rama III.
50.The Grand Hall of Wat Maha That, Sukhothai – The Grand Hall of Wat Maha That in the old Sukhothai Kingdom is composed of 11 large rooms which are divided into 2 sections: the front section where people sat, and the rear section where the Buddha images were housed.
51.The Main Chedi of Wat Maha That, Sukhothai – The main chedi of Wat Maha That, Sukhothai Province is located in Wat Maha That, joining the wihan luang or grand hall. The chedi has been constructed by reducing its actual size by three-fourths.
52.Phra Lo Garden, Phrae – Phra Lo Garden at Muang Boran consists of a group of sculptures of imaginary characters from the Phra Lo folk tale.
53.Ho Kham, Lampang – Ho Kham is a northern Thai term meaning a gilded hall or golden pavilion, formerly used as the official residence of the Royal Governor of Lampang Province during the Rattanakosin period.
54.The Chedi of Cham Thewi, Lamphun – The Chedi of Cham Thewi at Wat Ku Kud was constructed in the Hariphunchai period. The chedi is a square tower of which 5 storeys with 12 Buddha images in each storey, totaling 60 images in all.
55.Wat Chong Kham, Lampang – According to the traditions of the Shan or Tai Yai who lived in Northern Thailand, the im por tant temples in the community are often named Wat Chong Kham. The excellent work of northern craftsmanship can be seen from the equal emphasis to the split-level roofs and the rythmic spacing of carved decorations.
56.The Wihan at Sa-Moeng – The wihan or the assembly hall was an important ancient structure originally situated at Sa-Moeng in Chiang Mai Province.
57.Chedi Chet Yod (The Seven-Spired Pagoda), Chiang Mai – Chedi Chet Yod is situated at Wat Photaram Mahawihan, a monastery known as Wat Chedi Chet Yod, in Chiang Mai Province.
58.The Wihan of Wat Chiang Khong, Chiang Rai – The assembly hall or wihan in Sukhothai and the Lanna Kingdoms were important monastery buildings. Muang Boran has brought the ubosot from Wat Chiang Khong in Chiang Rai (or the present Phayao Province).
59.The Water Hall – The water hall is an ordination hall surrounded by water. This is another traditional ordination hall that exists in Buddhism ideology.
60.The Northern Thai Village – From the architectural point of view, the northern Thai house is distinguished from its counterpart in the central region by the cross at the tip of the gables, known as Ga-Lae. Traditionally, the Ga-Lae are delicately carved with intricate motifs, unlike the plain triangular gables normally found in the villages of the central plain area.
61.Phra That Chom Kitti, Chiang Rai – Phra That Chom Kitti is an ancient monument in the north of Thailand. It stands on the summit of Chom Kitti Hill, Wiang District, Chiang Saen, Chiang Rai Provinece.
62.The Wihan at Wat Phumin, Nan – According to the chronicle of Nan, the temple was initially called Wat Phrom Min. It was some time later that the monastery was named Wat Phumin. Muang Boran reconstructed the monastery by making the original wihan smaller by two-thirds.
63.Phra Chedi Si Song Rak, Loei – Phra Chedi Si Song Rak is located on the bank of the Mun River in Dan Sai District, Loei Province. It was established in 1560 A.D. and completed in 1563 A.D. in the reign of King Maha Chakraphat of Ayutthaya.
64.The Mondop Housing Footprints of the Lord Buddha, Uttaradit – The standing footprints of the Lord Buddha are housed within a mondop at Wat Phra Yuen in Thung Yang, Uttaradit Province. According to the local tale, the footprints may have existed for 2,000 years. Muang Boran reconstructed the building in its actual size.
65.The Yamaka Patiharn – In Buddhist myth, Lord Buddha had given a mango seed to Nai Khanta to grow and tend. Owing to the divine power of Lord Buddha, the mango tree grew very rapidly, yielding tasty fruits for all the people.
66.Phra That Bang Phuan, Nong Khai – Phra That Bang Phuan is situated at Don Mu, Bang Phuan District in Nong Khai Province. Phra That is believed to house the relics of the Lord Buddha brought from India. Muang Boran reconstructed this monument in its actual size.
67.The Shrines – The shrines are symbols that represent belief in supernatural power of the Thais. They similarly believe that the shrines are houses of the holy spirits who help protect their homes and their community from any harm.
68.The Garden of Pha Daeng-Nang Ai – Muang Boran constructed a group of statues based on the Northeast legend of Pha Daeng and Nang Ai.
69.Phra That Narai Cheng Weng, Sakon Nakhon – Phra That Narai Cheng Weng is located in area of Phra That Narai Cheng Weng Temple, Phang Khwang in Sakon Nakhon Province. It is a Khmer stone sanctuary or Prasat Hin stand ing on a square laterite base. The monument is reconstructed and fully ornamented by Muang Boran based on its actual size and form.
70.The Lan Chang Styled Scripture Repository and Wihan – The northeastern community, established since the early Buddhist era, has created its own unique artistic style that is different from other types of indigenous architecture. The art became known as the art of Lan Chang.
71.Phra That Phanom, Nakhon Phanom – Phra That Phanom has been highly revered as a sacred monument for both the Thai and Laotian people for centuries. Muang Boran constructed this stupa in its former style before in Rattanakosin period.
72.Prasat Phra Vihan (Preah Vihear), Si Saket – Prasat Phra Vihan (Preah Vihear) stands on the summit of Phra Vihan Hill, on the edge of the south face of the Phanom Dong Rak Range escarpment on the Thai-Cambodian border, Si Saket Province. (Click here to read – Khao Phra Vihan National Park Reopens).
73.The Reclining Buddha – The Reclining Buddha, or the Buddha image performing a ‘dying’ gesture, lies on his right hand with both eyes closed.
74.Nang Usas Look-Out Tower, Udon Thani – The tower is not a man-made monument and presumably a prehistoric rock shelter. The original tower is at Muang Phan, Ban Phue District in Udon Thani Province. It is 3-4 kilometers west of Phra Buddha Bat Bua Bok, the site of another Buddha footprint. A life-size seated stone Buddha image found here was carved in the typical Dvaravati-Lop Buri style which can be dated back to the 10th or 11th century A.D.
75.The Folk Museum – The Folk Museum at Muang Boran exhibits a number of anthropological objects collected from all over the country. The whole village area in a remote section of Muang Boran had been planned for the museum exhibiting the local traditional Thai crafts such as artifacts created by skillful Thai crafts men.
76.Phra That Ya Khu, Kalasin – Phra That Ya Khu chedi lies within the old walls of the ancient town of Fa Daed Song Yang in Kalasin Province.
77.Ku Khu Maha That – Ku Khu Maha That (Khu means cave) is situated at Ban Khwao, Maha Sarakham Province. The stone sanctuary, dated back to the 13th century A.D., shows the influence of the Khmer architectural style.
78.Prasat Hin Nong Ku, Roi Et – Prasat Hin Nong Ku of Ban Prang Khu is in Thawat Buri District, Roi Et Province. Prasat Hin Nong Ku, constructed at Muang Boran, represents the authentic form and size of the original in Roi Et.
79.The Garden of the Prince of the Golden Conch – The Prince of the Golden Conch or Sang Thong is an old folk tale taken from Panyatsa Jataka (Panasa Jataka). At Muang Boran, the three groups of statues are: Sang Thong in negrito disguise together with Nang Rotchana headed to their home in a farmers village. Six brothers-in-law went fishing. Sang Thong in disguise hunting.
80.The Prang at Si Thep, Phetchabun – Si Thep is known as one of the large ancient city which is located on the Pa Sak River in Phetchabun Province. Prang Si Thep at Muang Boran has been fully decorated but is smaller in size than the original prang in Phetchabun Province.
81.An Image of Hindu Deity with a Mitred Crown – The creation of the image of Hindu Deity with a Mitred Crown originated from Hinduism beliefs, normally known as Vishnu (Narai).
82.The Meditation Retreat – In a peaceful and contemplative environment, full of local plants such as Samae and Lam Chiek. Muang Boran has made a place suitable for Buddhists to meditate and study Buddhism doctrines.
83.The Buddha Image Being Protected by the Naga – Sculptors cast Buddha images in the seated position, being protected by the naga. These Buddha images are amulets for those born on Saturday.
84.The Thai-Songdam Village – The Lao Song is another group of Tai people which are sometimes called by the different names such as Tai Songdam and Phu Tai. The original dwellings of Lao Song were acquired from the village of Lao Song in Sa Yai Som, Suphan Buri Province.
85.The Stupa of Wat Phra That Sam Muen, Chaiyaphum – Phra That Sam Muen or Phra That Ban Kaeng is situated next to the ruins of an ancient Dvaravati town in Ban Kaeng, Phu Khiao District, Chaiyaphum Province. The reconstruction of the Phra That Sam Muen carried out by Muang Boran has rendered the monument in its original size.
86.The Phimai Sanctuary, Nakhon Ratchasima – The Phimai Stone Sanctuary is located in Phimai District, Nakhon Ratchasima (Khorat) Province. This Khmer style sanctuary is considered the largest Buddhist monument in Thailand.
87.The Phanom Rung Sanctuary, Buri Ram – The Phanom Rung Stone Sanctuary is located in Buri Ram Province, on an extinct volcano. Built in accordance with Hinduism beliefs of the Shiva sect, the sanctuary had been constructed and used as a religious center for years.
88.The Octagonal Sala – The Octagonal Sala is a wooden gazebo represents another form of Thai architecture. The Sala may be used during certain Bud dhist merit-making ceremonies such as the Songkran Festival.
89.The Churning of the Ocean – Based on Hinduism mythology, once when deities became less powerful and were threat ened by mightier ogres, they asked for help from Vishnu or Narai. The god recommended they hold a ceremony, known as the Churning of the Ocean, to make a magic potion from the ocean water so they would get back their power. However, the deities could not carry out the great ritual on their own. So, they asked for help from the ogres.
90.Prasat Sikhoraphum, Surin – The Sikhoraphum Stone Sanctuary is a group of five brick prang, finely constructed, standing on the same base. The sanctuary was constructed according to Hinduism beliefs and dated back to the 12th century A.D.
91.Dvaravati Wihan – The Dvaravati Kingdom has long been considered the center of Hinayana Buddhism. Muang Boran has reconstructed the Dvaravati wihan to represent the image of the Dvaravati Kingdom, whose influence had flourished in the northeastern region for more than a thousand years.
92.The Garden of Sacred Stupa – The Garden of Sacred Stupa at Muang Boran is formed by a large group of stupa in various architectural styles, built in different periods from the past to present.
93.Prasat Sadok Kok Thom, Sa Kaeo – Prasat Sadok Kok Thom, situated in Ban Nong Samet, Ta Phraya District in Sa Kaeo Province, is a Khmer sanctuary dating to the 10th century A.D. Muang Boran reconstructed this sanctuary in its actual size.
94.The Ancient Theatrical Pavilion – The grand pavilion in Muang Boran was specially designed and built for court performances, evidence of which may be seen in numerous ancient murals.
95.The Hall of Wat Nimit, Trat – The hall of Wat Nimit, the whole wooden structure, is roofed with ceramic tiles and dates to the late Ayutthaya period. Muang Boran brought the hall from the temple and re-erected the building as an historical memorial.
96.The Garden of Phra Aphaimani, Rayong – Phra Aphaimani is a verse play that was written by one of the greatest poets of the Rattanakosin era, Sunthon Phu, who had lived during the second and third reigns of the Rattanakosin era.
97.The Old Fort and Wall at Chachoengsao – The fort and the old wall in Chachoengsao Province were built for defense Bangkok on the easternseaboard.
98.The Red Block Building, Chanthaburi – The Red Block Building in Chanthaburi Province was initially constructed in 1893 A.D. when the colonial French army invaded Chanthaburi and set up military headquarters here.
99.The Shrine Housing the City Pillar – The Shrine Housing the City Pillar is another kind of sacred site that reflects the belief of local Thai villagers in supernatural power.
100.Sala of Ten Reincarnations – Sala of Ten Reincarnations at Muang Boran, located across a stream, is an example of ancient Thai buildings of which the value lies not only within their aesthetic structure but also their function as a religious school for the community.
There are 16 other recreations in the park including:
- 101. Giant Swing and Brahim Temple
- 102. Sumeru Mountain
- 103. Sala of 80 Yogis
- 104. The Royal Water-Course Procesion
- 105. Mondop of Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara (kuan Yin)
- 106. Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara Performing a Miracle
- 107. Sala of Ramayana
- 108. Phra That Mondop
- 109. A Botanical Garden from Thai Literature
- 110. Pavilion of the Enlightened
- 111. The Rainbow Bridge
- 112. Pavilion of Recallection
- 113. Thai Junk
- 114. Sala 24 Katanyu (Pavilion of Icons of Gratitude)
- 115. Sala Kong Beng (Zhuge Liangs Pavilion)
- 116. Mondop Phra Si Thit