Ancient Siam, is on my list of top ten favorite places [to date] in Thailand. I keep incorrectly calling it Amazing Siam because it is just that awesome. It sits on 200 ACRES to showcase the incredible buildings, statues and gardens throughout Thailand. And you can see it all by bike!
Arriving we picked out our bicycles to take us through the park, testing a few, as we had 200 acres to cover! In the afternoon it was still hot, but we rode through the shade of trees and sought out shelter in the large structures. There were few people we passed so it felt like this magical world was ours.
The place is considered the largest open-air museum and it lives up its name, providing lots of information about Thailand’s past through various exhibits. Ancient Siam, once called Ancient City (Mueang Boran), was built by Lek Viriyaphant. He’d intended to create a “Thai-map shaped golf course” with miniatures (per the website). However, as he researched, he found that many ancient sites had been left in disrepair and changed his concept from a tourist attraction to “an open-air museum for educational purposes”. And it is so freaking awesome he did. It was truly incredible how much of the culture was captured. With our few hours, we probably only saw about half of it.
It is located about an hour outside of Bangkok and showcases some of the incredible structures throughout ALL of Thailand. The land is roughly the shape of Thailand so the structures are situated where they would correctly be. And where it’s been mentioned that Camelot was “only a model”*, these models are amazing. Many are close to scale of the original structure, allowing you to step instead and look around. While there, I felt if I couldn’t do any more traveling in Thailand, I would be satisfied having seen so many beautiful sights there, it is that good. (Luckily we traveled more though.)
It was so much fun to ride through the park, with low fear of being hit by a car and able to hop on and off the bike to check out the various structures. The grounds may also be transversed with golf carts, in a bus or a car. I can’t recommend bikes enough though. Each of the sites provide a description, in Thai and English, with the name, and longer description of its significance and area it was from.
Our wonderful day ended at sunset, atop “Prasat Phra Wihan” on a man-made hill 54 meters high. It provided a view of the entire park and the gorgeous sunset sky dotted with storks. All of the many steps to reach the top were worth it and we commemorated the day in the best way we knew how:
Definitely see this site if you are ever in Thailand.
That it took me so long to write about the park, says more about me not wanting to go through the 300+ photos, to pick out the few I would share, than how much I love it. But, I took the plunge and perhaps an hour or two later, I’m ready!
What is your favorite amazing sight found?
*Monty Python reference, high-five yourself if you got it.
FYI: I was not sponsored to write this review, but if they would like to give me free admission for life, I’m up for it! We’ll be back this weekend for more pictures with the new camera!!!