Thursday, 22 May 2008

Muang Boran - The Ancient City

There was a holiday here on Monday, Buddhist Visakha Bucha Day (This is the day that the Lord Buddha was born, became enlightened and then passed away), so we decided to make the most of it and visit The Ancient City, Muang Boran.

It's not the easiest place to get to as it's about a 30 minute drive from Central Bangkok along the old Sukhumvit Road (We hired a car and driver but I guess it would be easy enough to get a taxi there) but it's well worth visiting!! I'm not really sure how to describe's like a kind of theme park which explores Thailand's culture, arts, religion, customs and traditions both past and present. The park is set in over 360 acres of land which is shaped like Thailand and round every corner there are reproductions of palace halls, stupas (Where important people's ashes are stored), temples and there are even examples of traditional villages from across Thailand. They are all in roughly the same place in the park as they are in the country and there are 116 different things to visit - It's just phenomenal!!

When we got there we discovered that we had the option of either taking the car in, hiring bikes or hiring an electric golf cart. We've been to a few things before that we went round by car and Chris and I both felt that it spoiled the experience, it was a bit too hot for bikes (My excuse and I'm sticking to it!!) so we went for the golf cart. (It was only 200 baht an hour to hire which works out at about £3).

We drove down through the entrance and the first thing we saw was the Pallava Group of Images (three Hindu Deities - Vishnu, Siva and Laksammee) the originals were carved by Pallava Sculptors in the 13th Century.

From there we saw The Pavillion of the Enlightened which is the story of how 500 monks showed people from all walks of life how to become enlightened and reach Nirvana,

The Grand Hall of Wat Maha That (the original of which is in Sukhothai - photo on the right),

a statue of Phra Phrom (The god of creation and kindness - Photo on the left),

Phra That Bang Phuan which is a temple in Nong Khai believed to house relics of the Buddha brought to Thailand from India and lots of other monuments and things that I can't remember the names of.

We will definately go back as we only got to see about half the attractions (if that) and it's made us very keen to see some of the areas of Thailand that we've not made it to yet!!! It's such a great place - really really worth the effort to get there!!


maomiling said...

cool picture taken...

SueG said...

I do love your travelogues! Thanks! xo

Carol said...

Maomiling - Welcome and Thanks :-)

Sue - still chortling about the Motley Sue!!

I'm glad you like reading them....I really enjoy writing them :-)

C x

Lehners in France said...

It looks like a great place to visit. Bob keeps saying he wants to take me to India. Maybe I'll persuade him Thailand instead. Take care. Debs x

Amy P. said...

I remember going there with the school I worked with as a field trip. All the photos you took are of ones I never saw, so I need to go back too! It's very pretty. I'm glad it didn't rain on you!

Debs said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful time, beautiful pictures too.

My son is going to Cambodia and then to Thailand soon and the photos he's shown me of the trip he will be taking are magnificent. I wish I was going too.

Lane said...

'The park is shaped like Thailand'??

Isn't that amazing! I love the fountains and all the statues. There's always so much detail in everything. Is the last statue up a tree?

Anonymous said...

Must squeeze that in on the next whistle stop tour of South east asia
Looks great

JJ Beattie said...

Oooh fun day C. Mine was spent supervising homework. Mmmm hmmm.

Carol said...

The Lehners - Well Debs, I've never been to India so can't comment on that but I can say that I think you would love Thailand!! (and we could always meet up - not sure if you'll think that's an advantage or not...hehehe)

Amy - The place is HUGE!! There is absolutely no way you could see everything in a day!! We had just got in the car when the heavens opened....very good timing on our part!!

Debs - It was fab!! We've decided that we'll go back in the cool season and take a picnic :-)

I loved Cambodia when we visited and he's going to have a ball in Thailand!! I can give you my contact details and you can pass them onto your son so he's got someone he can contact if he has any questions or anything....if you want me to do that just let me know :-)

Lane - Yup, shaped like Thailand....isn't that rather groovy!!

The Thai's do love to decorate EVERYTHING...sometimes waaaaaay past the point at which they should have stopped!!

The last statue is indeed up a tree :-)

Tomato - You will love it....Oh, and when we go.....I'm driving!!!

JJ - I'm guessing that was a case of 'The fun never starts!!'. He'll thank you in the end hon!!

C x

Mel said...

Brilliant post C! We've been thinking of visiting there for a while but wasn't sure how to go about it! Love the golf cart..Chris looks right at home :-)

Coffee must be on the agenda soon right?!!

Anonymous said...

That will have to be first on my list for visiting when I get back over to see you! Fab place, fab photos!

Love Mum xx

Carol said...

Mel - I think you would love it....there is just so much to see and the park itself is beautiful!!

Definately need to get together for coffee (and possibly cake :-))

Mum - I can see us taking all our guests's fab!!

C x

Anonymous said...

saints and ministers of grace preserve me. Do you mean the golf buggy (cause I want a go) or have you sneakily got your license in Thailand of all places.


Carol said...

Tomato - I mean the golf buggy and you are so not getting a go!!! I know what your like....all it would take was one cute guy and chaos would ensue!! (Probably involving toppling statues and possible even running over said cute guy!!)

C x

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